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Indians and Tigers to play two at Comerica Park
(SportsNetwork.com) - Following a Friday night matchup, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers will square off in a doubleheader Saturday to play the second and third games of a four-game series at Comerica Park.
The Indians will call on Corey Kluber in the first matchup to start, and will insert Zach McAllister into the night contest.
Meanwhile, the Tigers called up rookie Drew VerHagen from Triple-A Toledo to make the spot start in the afternoon contest and he will bridge the gap between Anibal Sanchez Friday night and Max Scherzer, who gets the starting nod for the late game.
Kluber takes the mound in the afternoon sporting a 9-6 record on the season with a 3.01 earned run average. His 142 strikeouts is near the top of the American League this season, and in his past four starts he's picked up a 3-1 record. In his last start on July 11, Kluber was roughed up for four runs on eight hits, but still picked up the win as his Indians took down the White Sox, 7-4.
VerHagen is making his major league debut Saturday afternoon. With Toledo in 2014, the 23-year-old has amassed a 6-7 record with a 3.67 ERA. He's racked up 63 strikeouts to 25 walks.
In the late-game contest, the Indians will count on McAllister to match up with one of the most dangerous pitchers in the American League in Scherzer.
McAllister enters the game with a 3-5 record and a disappointing 5.63 ERA. He's struck out 45 batters and walked 21 on the year. McAllister hasn't picked up a win since an April 21 start against Kansas City.
He lasted seven innings on July 12 against the White Sox and gave up three runs on four hits. That was enough to be tagged with the loss in a 6-2 Chicago victory.
Scherzer has been dominant of late. His 11-2 record is up there with some of the best in the majors, and he adds an impressive 3.35 ERA to his stat line. Scherzer has picked up two wins in his last two starts, including a seven- inning, one-run effort in his most recent outing, in which he fanned seven batters and his Tigers picked up the 4-1 win over the Dodgers. He was also the winning pitcher in the 2014 All-Star Game earlier in the week.
Against Cleveland, Scherzer has a career 9-4 record with 104 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings pitched.
Detroit jumped ahead of Cleveland 3-0 after four innings on Friday night, but the Indians went on a scoring spree in the seventh to retake the lead. They held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way en route to a 9-3 victory.
Nick Swisher got the scoring started in the seventh inning with a two-run single, then Ryan Raburn doubled to right field to knot the score at 3-3. Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera each homered to close out the scoring in the inning, then Kipnis went deep in the ninth to complete a 2-for-5 night at the plate with four RBI.
Trevor Bauer secured the win for Cleveland after pitching six innings of six- hit, three-run ball. Sanchez was tagged with the loss for Detroit after going six innings with four earned runs and seven strikeouts.
"I don't know if it was the time off or whatever reason, it just looked to me like he got tired," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said about Sanchez.
Torii Hunter drove in a run in the fourth inning to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead, then stole third and came home on a throwing error to end Detroit's scoring.
Miguel Cabrera, who entered the game as the American League leader in RBI (75) and doubles (34) went 2-for-4 on the night, but didn't contribute to either of those categories.
The Indians have won four of their last five dating back to last week, while Detroit is following up a five-game win streak with two straight losses sandwiching the All-Star break. Cleveland is now 6 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central race.
07/19 10:43:11 ET