American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 25th
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (52-45) at Cleveland Indians (49-48), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (9-5, 4.61)
Cleveland - Derek Lowe (8-8, 5.04)
(Sports Network) - The American League Central has turned into a three-horse
race, and the Cleveland Indians will try to creep closer to the top when they
resume a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Travis Hafner's unlikely triple led to the game-winning run in the seventh
inning as the Indians squeezed past the Tigers, 3-2, in the opener of this
series between the division foes on Tuesday.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera momentarily quieted the Progressive Field crowd by
hitting a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh, but Hafner, with the
benefit of a generous bounce off the left-field wall, legged out a one-out
triple in the bottom half.
A well-executed squeeze bunt by Aaron Cunningham then allowed pinch-runner Lou
Marson to slide in safely ahead of Doug Fister's low throw for the go-ahead
"It was a great call by [Indians manager Manny Acta]," said Tigers manager Jim
Leyland of the squeeze play. "That was the run that beat us, so it was a good
call by him."
Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez each threw an inning of relief to close out the
Cabrera's homer off Joe Smith (6-2) spoiled a potential winning decision for
Ubaldo Jimenez, who scattered seven hits and two walks over six scoreless
Nonetheless, the Indians won for the second straight night on the heels of a
four-game slide and snapped the AL Central-leading Tigers' five-game winning
streak. Detroit, currently tied with the Chicago White Sox atop the division
and three games ahead of the Tribe, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring
position and stranded nine.
"In order for you to beat [the Tigers] you need to keep the bottom of their
order off the bases and the top of their order off the bases," Acta said.
"It's a tough task."
The Indians are now a gaudy 6-1 against the Tigers this season.
The Tigers hope to bounce back behind Max Scherzer, who is 4-4 with a shaky
5.44 ERA in nine career starts versus the Tribe.
Cleveland counters with veteran Derek Lowe, who has always excelled both as a
starter and reliever against the Tigers. The right-hander has compiled a 7-3
mark with a solid 2.38 ERA and nine saves in 30 appearances (11 starts) versus
07/25 10:52:04 ET