The Cleveland Indians will wrap up their 15-game stretch against the AL Central with this week's three-game series against the Detroit Tigers. And the Indians can only hope this stretch ends how it began.
Since kicking off the AL Central gauntlet with a three-game sweep of the Tigers in Cleveland, the Indians are just 2-7. They were swept by the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, and then went 2-4 overall in series against the lowly Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins.
Tuesday starter Ubaldo Jimenez has had his own struggles. In his last four starts, Jimenez, 5-4, has pitched 20.1 innings and given up 20 runs. He has 17 walks and 13 strikeouts over that stretch, and the last time out he was battered for seven runs in four innings.
Rookie Drew Smyly, 2-1, will start for Detroit. After compiling a 1.23 ERA through four starts, Smyly has taken some lumps of late. Still, he has a respectable 3.46 ERA and a sterling 3.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Indians are 2.5 games back of Chicago and 3.5 games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 Eastern.