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Tigers Look To Avoid Second Straight Sweep

The Cleveland Indians have won five in a row and 12 straight at home, pushing them to a club record 18-8 record in April. On the other side of the coin are the Detroit Tigers, losers of five straight games and facing a sweep in their second consecutive series.

This weekend began with the Tigers having a chance to close the gap between them and the first-place Indians. Instead, they’ve plunged down the standings, now 6 1/2 games behind the Tribe.

Phil Coke tries to end his personal two-game losing streak in which he’s given up 13 runs (nine earned). He didn’t pitch past the fifth inning in either start, both against the Mariners. Maybe facing a different team will do him some good.

The Tigers will try to be the first team to defeat Justin Masterson this season. Adding another win would make him the first Indians pitcher to start 6-0 since Cliff Lee did so in 2008. Masterson arguably hasn’t faced a good team yet in each of his five starts, but the Tigers aren’t looking like a good team right now, either.

Judging from the lineup Jim Leyland penciled in, however, Masterson’s chance at a sixth win look pretty good. Don Kelly is batting third today, folks.

Here are the starting lineups:

Detroit Tigers
1. Will Rhymes, 2B
2. Ramon Santiago, SS
3. Don Kelly, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Brennan Boesch, DH
6. Ryan Raburn, LF
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Brandon Inge, 3B
9. Austin Jackson, CF

Cleveland Indians
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Shelley Duncan, DH
6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
7. Michael Brantley, LF
8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
9. Adam Everett, 3B