Armando Galarraga hopes to continue his mastery of the Cleveland Indians this evening when the Detroit Tigers open a three-game series against them at Progressive Field.
Galarraga, of course, came within an out of a perfect game against the Indians back on June 2 only to be denied by a blown call from first base umpire Jim Joyce. He then followed that up with seven scoreless innings in a win against the Tribe on August 20.
However, Galarraga is winless since that start and has lost his last two outings. On Tuesday against Kansas City the right-hander was hit for five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, dropping him to 4-7 to go along with a 4.44 ERA.
Facing the Indians, though, should get him back on track, as Galarraga owns a 5-3 lifetime mark against them with a 4.15 ERA in 10 starts.
The Tigers have been terrific of late, winning eight of their last nine games. The one loss in that span, though, was Galarraga's start. In fact their last two losses have both come with Galarraga on the hill.
Detroit swept a three-game set from the American League Central-champion Minnesota Twins over the weekend. The Tigers completed the white-wash on Sunday, as Rick Porcello pitched eight sold innings in a 5-1 win at Comerica Park.
Porcello (10-11) scattered four hits, one of which was a home run by Delmon Young. Porcello also struck out five and walked one. The young right-hander has won five straight decisions.
"The offense did a great job, the defense played well and we pitched well. To sweep a team that's going to the playoffs is nice," Porcello said.
Ramon Santiago connected on a three-run homer and Miguel Cabrera added a two- run blast for the Tigers, who concluded the home portion of their 2010 schedule with a 52-29 record.
Cleveland, meanwhile, also enters tonight's series on the heels of a big series win, as it took three of four from the Kansas City Royals to move out of the cellar in the Central.
On Sunday, Michael Brantley capped a five-run eighth inning with a two-run double, as Cleveland rallied for a 5-3 win. Shelley Duncan added a three-run homer for the Indians, who are 1 1/2 games ahead of the last-place Royals.
Fausto Carmona allowed two runs on six hits in a five-inning start, and Rafael Perez (6-1) earned the victory for 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Vinnie Pestano recorded his first career save with a shutout ninth inning.
Getting the call for the Indians tonight will be righty Carlos Carrasco, who is 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA. Carrasco was charged with the loss on Wednesday in Minnesota, as he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
Carrasco has lost both of his starts to the Tigers, pitching to a 11.25 ERA in those outings.
Detroit is 9-6 against the Tribe this season. However, the home team in this matchup has won the last nine meetings.