The Tigers were swept by Cleveland in late May -- tallying a total of six runs in the three-game series -- and still haven't been able to get off the schneid against their AL Central rival. That's a big part of why Detroit is 5.5 games back of Cleveland, 6.0 back of the Chicago White Sox -- and just 0.5 ahead of the Kansas City Royals.
Making things even dicier: Casey Crosby will take the hill Thursday. Crosby, who was summoned to the rotation when Doug Fister went on the DL, has one major league start to his name, and it wasn't pretty. Last week the 23-year-old lasted just 3.1 innings while walking four and giving up six earned runs. Granted, that was against the New York Yankees, but it did little to arouse confidence.
Derek Lowe will start Thursday for Cleveland, and those waiting for a regression from the 39-year-old Lowe will have to wait a little longer. While he has just 20 strikeouts in 67.1 innings and a hefty 1.46 WHIP, Lowe boasts a 7-3 record and 3.06 ERA. He was shelled for eight earned runs back on May 26, but he rebounded with a 6.2-inning, one-run outing last week.
First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 Eastern.