clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Cleveland Indians (19-31) at Detroit Tigers (26-25), 7:05 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians will be shooting for back-to-back wins at Detroit's Comerica Park for the first time in nearly two years when the club continues a three-game set with the badly-struggling Tigers tonight in the Motor City.

Cleveland snapped a string of six straight road losses in this series with Tuesday's 3-2 triumph. The victory was also just the Indians' second in their last 12 visits to Comerica Park, where they haven't topped the Tigers on consecutive days since putting together a three-game sweep there from August 25-27, 2008.

Jake Westbrook twirled 7 2/3 outstanding innings to lead the way in last night's win, with Shin-Soo Choo and Russell Branyan each slugging solo homers to back the Tribe starter.

Westbrook (3-3) yielded just one run on five hits and a walk in his second- longest outing of the season. The veteran righty, who missed all of 2009 and most of 2008 recovering from Tommy John surgery, has now won three of his last four decisions.

"He looked very relaxed out there -- he threw a lot of first-pitch strikes," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta about Westbrook. "It was a tremendous effort."

Kerry Wood was touched for an unearned run in the ninth, but held on to notch his third save of the year and finish off only Cleveland's fourth win in their last 15 tilts.

Detroit, meanwhile, has now lost eight of its last 10 tests and fell to 1-4 on its current seven-game homestand. The Tigers have scored four runs or less in each of those eight setbacks.

"We all know we are a better team than this, but we just have to keep battling," said Tigers catcher Alex Avila. "It's been a tough stretch for us, but it's the daily grind. That's why you play 162 games."

Detroit faltered again last night despite a good showing from starter Jeremy Bonderman (2-3), who worked eight innings and allowed three runs while scattering nine hits.

The Tigers' slumping offense will attempt to break out in tonight's matchup against the Tribe's Fausto Carmona. The talented right-hander has pitched solidly for his team this season, bringing a 4-3 record and a 3.69 earned run average into this start, but does come in having lost in each of his past two assignments.

Carmona was reached for five runs (three earned) over six innings in a 6-4 home defeat to Cincinnati on May 22, then surrendered four runs in six frames during an 8-2 loss at New York's Yankee Stadium this past Friday.

That defeat to the Yankees was Carmona's lone loss on the road this season, as he's 3-1 with an impressive 2.90 ERA in five away starts. He's also 6-3 with a 3.56 ERA over 15 lifetime encounters with Detroit, 12 of which have been starts.

The Tigers hand the ball to Armando Galarraga tonight for the right-hander's third major league start of the season, and first since May 22. The native Venezuelan will be taking the rotation spot of Dontrelle Willis, designated for assignment by the team last week and traded to Arizona in exchange for pitcher Billy Buckner on Tuesday.

Galarraga pitched well in his 2010 Tigers' debut back on May 16, holding Boston to a run and three hits over 5 2/3 effective innings to gain a win. He wasn't nearly as sharp six days later, though, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits -- two of which were homers -- before being lifted after 4 2/3 frames of a road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 28-year-old, a surprise 13-game winner for Detroit in 2008, last pitched in relief and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings against Oakland on Friday.

Galarraga has started eight times previously against Cleveland and sports a 3-3 record with a 5.51 ERA versus the Indians.

Tuesday's loss was only Detroit's fifth in its last 23 overall meetings with Cleveland. The Tigers have taken four of the six bouts between the AL Central foes so far this year.