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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.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.