(Sports Network) - Doug Fister makes his final start this season before the playoffs when the American League Central champion Detroit Tigers open a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.
Fister may have been the best acquisition at the trade deadline, as he has gone 7-1 with a 2.02 earned run average in 10 games (nine starts) since being picked up from Seattle. He has been even better of late, posting a 5-0 mark with a 0.81 ERA in his last six starts, thus earning himself the Game 2 start in the ALDS next Saturday.
The right-hander has faced the Indians seven times and is 2-2 against them with a 2.74 ERA.
The Tigers enter this series one game back of the AL West champion Texas Rangers in the race for the second seed in the AL playoffs and more importantly, home-field advantage in the first round. Detroit also holds a tie-breaker advantage on the Rangers.
"Anywhere we have to go, it's still a ballpark," Tigers catcher Victor Martinez said. "It doesn't matter. Definitely, it's nice to start at home, but if we don't, it's not the end of the world."
The Tigers could move up in that race this week, though, as they have won seven straight against the Indians after losing six of the first eight meetings between the rivals this season.
Cleveland continued to play out the string this weekend, taking three of four from the Minnesota Twins, but was denied a sweep, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Twins in 10 innings on Sunday.
In possibly his final game in Cleveland, Jim Thome pinch-hit in the eighth inning and drew a walk. He then stayed out to play third base, where be began his career, for one pitch in the ninth inning.
"I wasn't surprised at all," said Thome. "I just thought it was a nice gesture from him (Cleveland manager Manny Acta) and it felt good to be there, even if it was just for a little bit."
Tonight, the Indians turn to righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who did not have the same impact upon being acquired at the deadline as Fister did with the Tigers. Jimenez fell to 4-3 since coming over from Colorado on Wednesday against Chicago, as he allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings to raise his ERA to 4.62 since the trade.
Overall on the year he is 10-12 with a 4.52 ERA.
He is 2-4 in six starts against the Tigers with a 5.50 ERA.