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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 20 (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (50-47) at Detroit Tigers (53-41), 1:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Josh Tomlin (5-6, 4.21) Detroit - Drew Smyly (5-8, 4.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers will close out their four-game series Sunday at Comerica Park.
Two five-win pitchers will get the start for each squad, as Josh Tomlin goes for Cleveland and Drew Smyly takes the hill the Tigers.
Tomlin gets sent to the mound for the start owning a 5-6 record on the year with a 4.21 earned run average. The righty has struck out 69 batters this season and has issued a walk only nine times.
He lasted seven innings in his latest start against the Yankees, and earned a no-decision after surrendering eight hits and four earned runs. The Yankees won the game, 5-4.
Tomlin is 2-3 lifetime against the Tigers in six appearances, and owns a 6.31 lifetime ERA against Detroit. The Tigers are batting .306 against Tomlin.
Smyly, who turned 25 last weekend, enters the game with a 5-8 record on the season and an even 4.00 ERA. He's made 18 appearances this year, of which 15 have been starts.
Smyly has been pretty consistent in his last nine starts, but not in the best way. For every win Smyly has picked up, he follows it up with a pair of losses. In his last start, the lefty completed 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing four runs on eight hits in a 16-4 Tigers win over Kansas City.
Despite playing 12 games lifetime against Cleveland, Smyly has made just two starts for a 1-1 record, but sports a high 5.16 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. Comerica Park hasn't been a friendly place for Smyly on the season, though. He sits on a 2-5 record at home with a 3.80 ERA.
The two squads played a doubleheader Saturday -- the first game in the early afternoon which resulted in a 6-2 Indians win. Corey Kluber got the victory for Cleveland, while Drew VerHagen, making his major-league debut, was tagged with the loss.
It wasn't all bad for the Tigers rookie pitcher, who went five innings and gave up three runs on just five hits. Kluber was better, nearly completing the game after tossing 8 2/3 innings of seven-hit, two-run ball.
"He gave us a chance to win, he gave us five solid innings," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "No complaints about Drew VerHagen whatsoever."
For the second straight game, Jason Kipnis drove home two runs, and David Murphy added two RBI of his own in Cleveland's aid. Miguel Cabrera registered three hits for Detroit, and both Austin Jackson and J.D. Martinez plated RBI for Detroit in the loss.
In the nightcap, Cleveland once again came away victorious with a 5-2 win, this time in the ninth inning.
With the score tied 2-2, Carlos Santana drilled a double to deep right field that scored three runs. Detroit failed to level the score in the bottom half of the inning.
Max Scherzer got the start for Detroit, but lasted just 5 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits and two runs, while Zach McAllister of Cleveland was chased after 5 1/3 innings. He surrendered one run and struck out six.
Jackson drove in his team's only two runs in the contest. Cabrera, who entered the day as the American League leader in doubles, added another to his stat sheet.
Cleveland was able to move two games closer to Detroit's AL Central lead (4 1/2 games) Saturday, and will go for the four-game sweep Sunday.
The Indians have never swept a series of at least four games from the Tigers on the road dating back to at least 1914.
07/20 13:04:54 ET
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