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Indians Try To Slow Tigers Down And Stay In Race In AL Central

Fausto Carmona makes his biggest start of the season on Tuesday night as the Indians take on the Detroit Tigers in the middle game of their three-game set at Progressive Field.

After the Tigers beat the Tribe last night, this game went from "need a win" to "have to win", for a couple of reasons. First off, Cleveland has Justin Verlander to look forward to on Wednesday afternoon, and the prospect of trying to beat a 21-game winner with a depleted lineup is daunting, to put it mildly. And secondly, even if the Indians were able to get past Verlander, losing two-of-three and heading for Chicago 7.5 games behind with only 22 left to play would be a mountain, frankly, too high to climb.

Carmona (6-13, 4.84 ERA) is 1-1 vs. Detroit this year, having won in Detroit and lost in Cleveland. In 12 innings Fausto has allowed five earned runs, and for his career is 8-5 against the Tigers in 16 starts.

So Fausto knows he can pull this off.

Tonight’s opponent, Rick Porcello, has struggled mightily against the Tribe in 2011. In 14.1 innings Porcello (12-8, 5.01 ERA) has surrendered 15 runs, and that figure was inflated in his last two appearances vs. The Good Guys, in which Porcello has labored only 7.1 innings and allowed 13 runs.

However, for his career, Porcello is 4-1 against the Tribe with a 4.06 ERA in 57.2 innings.

Should the Tribe lose tonight and the White Sox win in Minnesota, Cleveland would fall back into third place. But that is not what is really at stake in tonight’s game.

Remaining in contention for a division crown is.

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