American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, September 3rd
(All times eastern)
Cleveland Indians (56-78) at Detroit Tigers (72-61), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Corey Kluber (0-3, 5.16)
Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.29)
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers hope to stay atop the American League
Central standings on Monday when they open a three-game series against the
hapless Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.
Detroit moved into a first-place tie in the division with the Chicago White
Sox on Sunday when the Tigers completed a three-game sweep of their division
rivals, as Justin Verlander allowed one run over eight innings and Brennan
Boesch and Delmon Young both homered in the 4-2 triumph.
Verlander (13-7) gave up a leadoff home run, but allowed just three hits the
rest of the way. The AL's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner struck out
11, issued just two walks, and improved to 12-1 in his last 13 starts against
"We just beat a very good team, a team that has been in first place for the
most part of the year," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "It's gonna be hard
to take that away from them. They're good and they have answered every bell so
far, so we just have to keep playing baseball."
The Tigers are in first place for the first time since July 25. They haven't
been alone at the top since July 23.
Getting the call for the Tigers on Monday will be righty Anibal Sanchez, who
is finally starting to settle in. Sanchez is still just 2-4 with a 5.29 ERA in
six starts for the Tigers since being acquired from Miami, but has allowed
just two earned runs in his last two starts.
Sanchez, who is 1-1 in two starts versus the Indians, absorbed the loss on
Wednesday in Kansas City, but pitched well, surrendering a run and seven hits
in seven innings.
"I thought he mixed well," Leyland said. "I thought his velocity was good. He
picked up a little extra when he needed it. As the game went on, he got the
ball down better. They hit a couple balls hard early, but then he settled in.
He really showed me something his last inning out there. That was quite a few
pitches for him. ... And he was up to the challenge."
Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with rookie Corey Kluber, who is still
searching for his first major league win. Kluber's latest loss came to Oakland
on Wednesday when he allowed four runs (3 earned) and eight hits in six
innings. He also fanned seven without walking a batter, but still fell to 0-3
to go along with a 5.16 ERA.
"I'm very encouraged by the way he threw the ball," Indians manager Manny Acta
said after that game.
Acta could be enjoying his final days as a manager in Cleveland, as his job
security has come into question of late, thanks in part to the team's 16th
loss in 18 games on Sunday, an 8-3 setback to the Texas Rangers.
The Indians begin a 10-game road trip today, Their last two trips resulted in
them going, 1-8 and 0-9.
"We're hoping we can have a better record than we had the last two times we
went on the road," Acta said.
Cleveland, though, is 7-5 against the Tigers this season.
09/03 10:33:05 ET