The Detroit Tigers have ensured they will finish this three-game set ahead of the New York Yankees in the wild-card standings.
A familiar face to the Yankees could push them further back.
David Price makes his second Tigers home start as he faces New York for the fifth time this year Wednesday night (6 p.m. pregame, 7:08 first pitch on FOX Sports Detroit).
Detroit (71-59) opened this series with a 5-2 victory Tuesday, remaining 1 1/2 games behind Kansas City in the AL Central race but moving three games ahead of New York (68-62) for the second wild-card spot in a race that also includes Seattle.
"All we can do is continue to go out, try and win whenever we can, play consistent," closer Joe Nathan said. "Don’t focus on the results, but concentrate on each at-bat and each pitch and have fun competing."
The Tigers have now won three straight, with J.D. Martinez 8 for 13 in that run and Victor Martinez 7 for 15. J.D. Martinez went 3 for 4 with two runs scored Monday as starter Rick Porcello joined teammate Max Scherzer as the AL’s only 15-game winners.
Next in line for the star-studded Tigers rotation is Price (12-9, 3.00 ERA), who is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts since he was acquired July 31 from Tampa Bay.
He has allowed one earned run in his last 16 innings, striking out nine in his first start against his former team – a 1-0 road loss Thursday that marked his first career one-hitter.
"That’s probably as good as I’ve pitched in a game that went my way," Price said. "It’s the least amount of hits I’ve ever given up."
Price has made more regular-season starts against New York than any other opponent — going 10-5 with a 3.64 ERA in 24 outings, including 1-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 2014. He gave up three runs with 10 strikeouts over 8 2-3 innings in a 4-3, 12-inning win in his Tigers debut at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 5.
Price leads the majors with a career-high 221 strikeouts.
"Obviously we’re facing a good team and a good pitcher tomorrow but we’ve got to get it done," manager Joe Girardi said after his club’s five-game win streak was snapped.
This marks the first time Price will square off with Yankees rookie right-hander Shane Greene (3-1, 3.17), who yielded three runs over five-plus innings Friday and did not receive a decision in a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Greene’s best outing came when he earned a 1-0 win over the Tigers with eight innings of five-hit ball Aug. 7.
He didn’t face Miguel Cabrera in that contest but that figures to change in this one. Cabrera had a double in four at-bats in the series opener after missing the Tigers’ previous game Sunday with a right ankle issue.
Jacoby Ellsbury accounted for New York’s offense with a pair of homers. Mark Teixeira went 0 for 4 after sitting out Monday to rest a sore left hamstring.
Ellsbury is 7 for 14 off Price this year and Brian McCann is 4 for 10 with three homers but Teixeira is 1 for 9.
Brett Gardner sat out a third straight game with a right ankle injury, but Girardi was hopeful he could return Wednesday.