The Detroit Tigers start a three-game series Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians. And while the marathon-not-a-sprint cliche definitely still applies at this point in the season, the Tigers could draw closer -- or even -- with the AL Central-leading Indians.
Detroit is third in the Central at 20-21, and Cleveland, which has sat atop the standings nearly all season, is 23-18. Three games back with a three-game series on tap...who knows.
Rick Porcello, 3-3, will start for the Tigers on Tuesday. Porcello, who has a 5.12 ERA, started the season on fire but has since been erratic. He lasted but 4.0 innings last time out against the Minnesota Twins, and before that just 5.0 innings (with four earned runs) against the Oakland Athletics.
The Tigers will go up against Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, 4-3, who also lugs a five-plus ERA (5.09) into Tuesday's game. Jimenez has, like Porcello, had a boom-or-bust streak thus far. In his last two games he's pitched 10.1 innings and given up 10 earned runs, but in the start before that -- against the high-powered Texas Rangers, no less -- he pitched 7.0 scoreless and K'd six.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 Eastern.