Detroit Holds Off Indians 4-3 To Go 3 Games Up On The Tribe

It doesn't get much bigger in August than a three-game series vs. the first-place team in your division

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Indians Vs. Tigers Preview: Tribe Has To Beat Detroit's Best To Earn A Sweep On Thursday Night

If the Indians are going to finish off a sweep of the Detroit Tigers and win their 14th straight over the Tigers in Cleveland, they are going to have to beat Detroit’s best.

Maybe even the best in the American League.

The Tribe’s Fausto Carmona will try to draw the Indians within a game of first place with 47 games to go when he faces Justin Verlander tonight at 7:05 at Progressive Field.

Carmona (5-11, 5.19 ERA) has won only once since June 15, but the Tribe did win in his last time out, although Carmona did not get the decision. In fact, in Fausto’s last five starts, the Indians are 4-1, although he is only 1-1 over that span.

Carmona beat the Tigers in Detroit on June 15, allowing two earned runs in five innings of a 6-4 Cleveland win in his only appearance of the season vs. Detroit. The victory moved Carmona to 8-4 in his career against the Tigers, with a 3.48 ERA in 101 innings.

So Carmona, even against a Verlander, has some solid history against tonight’s opponent to draw on.

Verlander (16-5, 2.30 ERA) is capable of throwing a no-hitter any time he takes the mound, so certainly do not look for a reprise of last night’s 18-hit Cleveland attack. Verlander already has one hitless game to his credit this year, having blanked the Blue Jays in Toronto on May 7.

This will be Verlander’s second appearance vs. the Tribe in 2011, and in his first time out, he shut the Indians out on two hits on June 14 in Detroit, fanning 12 and walking only one.

Verlander has gone 14-2 since April 27, and for his career is 11-11 against Cleveland with a 4.82 ERA in 157 innings.

Once the Indians get past this daunting hurdle tonight, they will return to action on Friday night at 7:05 vs. the Minnesota Twins for the start of a three-game set at Progressive Field.


Indians Vs. Tigers Preview: Ubaldo Jimenez Makes 1st Home Start On Wednesday Evening

Ubaldo Jimenez will make his first home appearance for the Indians in tonight’s middle-game of Cleveland’s three-game series with the Detroit Tigers, with a chance to pull the Tribe to within two games of first place in the American League Central.

Jimenez, it will be remembered, was in line to get a victory in his first outing for the Indians, last Friday in Texas, but ended up with a no-decision when Chris Perez let a two-run lead slip away in the ninth inning of a game the Tribe ended up dropping in 11 frames, 8-7.

In that one, Jimenez gave up seven hits and five runs in five innings, but (seeing the glass as half-full), there was of course the nervous factor of making his first start for his new club. And let’s be frank here, facing the Rangers in their hitter-friendly park is a chore no matter who the starter is.

This will not be Jimenez’s first appearance against the Tigers this year. He beat Detroit 5-4 in an interleague game on June 18, giving up three runs in five innings in Colorado. For his career, Ubaldo has faced the Tigers three times, with an overall mark of 1-2 in 16 innings and with a 5.63 ERA. Jimenez has not helped his cause vs. Detroit by giving up 29 baserunners in those 16 innings.

The Tigers will send Rick Porcello (11-6, 4.49 ERA) tonight. Porcello will be making his second appearance vs. The Good Guys in 2011. On April 30 Porcello got a no-decision in a 3-2 Cleveland win at Progressive Field, giving up only two runs on seven hits in seven innings, and fanning seven.

Worth noting is that Porcello has never lost to the Tribe. In eight starts, he is 4-0 vs. the Indians, with an ERA of 2.32 in 50.1 innings.

In other words, it won’t be easy tonight, and if form holds true for Porcello against Cleveland, Jimenez will have to bring a better effort than he put forth in Arlington to keep the Indians in the game.

This series will wrap up with another night game on Thursday, when Fausto Carmona will have the task of trying to beat Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

But first things first. Let’s get this one tonight and clinch a series win over the Tigers.

Go Tribe!


Indians Take On Tigers To Begin Huge Series Tuesday Night

(Sports Network) – If the Detroit Tigers are going to hold off the Cleveland Indians, among others, to win the American League Central, they are going to have to find a way to win at Progressive Field.

The Tigers turn to recent acquisition Doug Fister this evening in the hopes of snapping an 11-game slide in Cleveland as the two rivals open a key three-game series.

Detroit comes into this set with a four-game lead over second-place Cleveland and is five ahead of Chicago, but it could see that advantage shrink in a hurry if recent problems in Ohio continue. The Tigers haven’t won at Progressive Field since May 8 of last year and were swept in their first trip there this season back on April 29-May 1.

They did manage to take two of three at home over the Indians in mid-June and the clubs will still meet nine more times after this set. That includes a season-ending three-game battle in Detroit and though there is still plenty of games left, the Tigers would still love to leave Cleveland having extended their advantage atop the division.

“I don’t think it’s that early,” Detroit’s Alex Avila told his team’s website. “There’s two months left. You just want to take advantage and win every game you can.”

While the Indians made a big splash before the trade deadline in dealing for Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez, who lost his Cleveland debut on Friday and is slated to start tomorrow’s game, the Tigers also added to their rotation in the form of former Mariner Doug Fister.

The move has already turned into one victory as the right-hander defeated the Rangers in his first outing with the Tigers on Wednesday. Fister allowed three runs — two earned — on eight hits without a walk over seven innings. He won for the first time since May 30 after dropping his final seven decisions with Seattle.

“I really liked his presence on the mound, his demeanor. He did a real fine job for us tonight. I’m really happy for him,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who along with general manager Dave Dombrowski had his contract extended during Monday’s off day.

Leyland agreed to a deal through the 2012 season, while Dombrowski worked out a four-year extension through the 2015 campaign.

Fister, who went 3-12 with a 3.33 earned run average in 21 games with the Mariners, will try to help Leyland celebrate tonight by earning his first ever win over the Indians. The 27-year-old is 0-2 with a 3.16 ERA in four career games against them, but does have a 1.93 ERA over two meetings this season.

Detroit failed to sweep a three-game set with the Royals on Sunday, losing a rain-impacted finale by a 4-3 margin. Miguel Cabrera doubled home a run following a 46-minute rain delay in the sixth inning to pull the Tigers within a run, but they failed to plate the equalizer and lost for only the second time in seven games.

Max Scherzer came out after the delay and took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in five innings.

“It was just one of those outings that kind of got away from me,” Scherzer said. “I fell behind on a few counts where I made a mistake and they made me pay for it. There were other times where I located the ball and they were able hit the balls.”

Detroit was without Victor Martinez due to a sprained left knee suffered on Saturday, but he could return to action tonight against his former club. Martinez spent his first seven-plus seasons as Cleveland’s catcher before getting dealt to Boston during the 2009 season.

One of the players the Indians received in that deal goes tonight as Justin Masterson eyes a second straight victory. The righty won for the first time in four starts on Thursday by beating his old team in Boston.

Masterson allowed three runs on five hits over six innings, striking out nine to improve to 9-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 24 games.

“It was a random mix of everything,” Masterson said of his pitch selection. “There’s nothing overly consistent about anything.”

The 26-year-old moves up a day to pitch this game due to a six-game suspension and subsequent injury to Carlos Carrasco. He is 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA in eight career meetings with the Tigers, including five starts.

The Indians failed to pick up ground on the Tigers Sunday, losing a 5-3 contest to the Rangers to wrap a seven-game road trip 3-4. Michael Brantley tripled in a run and also homered for Cleveland, but Joe Smith (2-3) couldn’t hold a 3-0 lead in the eighth after taking over for Josh Tomlin.

“This three-game series was back-and-forth,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “The whole road trip was like that for us.”

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