(Sports Network) - Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga came close to a perfect game the last time he faced the Cleveland Indians. He'll get another chance tonight in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Galarraga squared off against the Tribe back on June 2 and was one out away from becoming the third pitcher to record a perfect game this season, but a groundball off the bat of Jason Donald ended the historical night. Donald hit a chopper to Miguel Cabrera on the right side of the infield and Galarraga covered the bag. However first base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe and replays afterwards showed Detroit's hurler touched the bag before Donald.
The right-hander was a good sport about the missed call and smiled at Joyce before heading back to the mound. Galarraga then retired the final batter for the win and improved to 4-3 in nine career starts against Cleveland. He is 3-5 with a 4.53 earned run average in 16 games (15 starts) in 2010 and last toed the rubber on Sunday in a 13-8 road win against the Chicago White Sox. In that game, Galarraga, who did not record a decision, got into a tussle with catchers Alex Avila and Gerald Laird in the dugout.
Galarraga settled down and was eventually reached for four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in five innings. He struck out five batters.
The Tigers will look to Galarraga to erase the memories of yesterday's 11-5 loss in the Bronx that featured a nine-run sixth inning by the New York Yankees. Rick Porcello gave up six runs and six hits in five innings to fall to 5-11 this season, while Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta both homered.
"The wheels kind of fell off for Rick in that one inning," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "He threw the ball pretty good, but the bullpen couldn't shut anything down and give us a chance to crawl back in it. That pretty much sums things up."
Detroit won the opener of the four-game series with the defending World Series champions before losing the last three meetings at Yankee Stadium. It will now return home for six games versus Cleveland and Kansas City, and is a solid 38-24 in the Motor City this season.
The Indians salvaged the finale of a three-game series at Kansas City with Thursday's 7-3 victory. Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in two runs and Matt LaPorta added two hits and an RBI for Cleveland, which put the game away with a five- run eighth inning and won for just the third time in 11 contests.
Mitch Talbot started for the Tribe and did not figure into the decision after yielding three runs -- two earned -- over 4 2/3 innings. Rafael Perez got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Chris Perez posted his 15th save in less than two innings.
"The bullpen came in and kept them to those three runs and gave us a chance," said Talbot.
Justin Masterson threw six shutout innings in his last outing, a 9-1 victory by the Indians versus Seattle on Sunday, but did not record a decision. He is only 4-11 with a 5.23 earned run average in 24 starts this season and 1-4 in his previous five decisions.
The right-hander tossed six innings of three-run ball for a no-decision versus Detroit back on May 8 this season, and is 0-1 with a 5.93 ERA in four career appearances (2 starts) against the Tigers.
Cleveland and Detroit have split 12 matchups this season, but the Indians are riding a four-game winning streak in the series. The Tigers are 5-1 versus the Indians at Comerica Park this season.