Tigers-Indians Preview

The Detroit Tigers suffered a significant loss before this

series between the AL Central’s top two clubs began.

The division leaders, though, continue to find a way to defeat

the second-place Cleveland Indians.

Justin Verlander will try to guide the Tigers to a 10th

consecutive victory Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Detroit (65-45) entered this four-game series with plenty of

momentum after capping off a perfect eight-game homestand with

Sunday’s 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox.

However, the Tigers found out Monday afternoon that All-Star

shortstop Jhonny Peralta wouldn’t appeal a 50-game suspension from

Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED


“It will change the look of our ballclub a little bit, but we’ll

move on,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said before

Monday’s opener.

It didn’t appear the Tigers were ready to do that Monday night

before rallying in the ninth for a 4-2 victory on former Indian

Victor Martinez’s RBI single and three-run homer by Alex Avila off

closer Chris Perez, who had converted his previous 11 save


Detroit extended its division lead to four games and ended

Cleveland’s 11-game home winning streak.

“It feels good after all the stuff that happened before the

game,” right fielder Torii Hunter said.

The Tigers, winners of six of seven at Progressive Field and 10

of 13 overall versus the Indians – now give the ball to Verlander

(11-8, 3.88) as they try to extend their longest winning streak

since a 12-game run Sept. 2-14, 2011.

It’s been a rocky season for the 2011 MVP and AL Cy Young Award

winner and six-time All-Star. The right-hander has already matched

his 2012 loss total and has walked four fewer batters in 23 starts

(56) than he did in 33 last year after issuing a season high-tying

five free passes in Wednesday’s 11-1 victory over Washington.

“My stuff was pretty good, but I was obviously erratic,”

Verlander said after throwing six innings of one-run ball.

That’s a good way to describe his season, as he’s allowed five

or more runs in six of 23 starts – including five in five innings

of a 11-7 victory at Cleveland on May 22 – and one or none nine


“I don’t think there’s been any pitcher in baseball, probably,

that’s worked as hard as I have this season to try to get things

right,” Verlander, 2-1 with a 5.82 ERA against the Indians this

season, told the Tigers’ official website. “… I’ve given

everything I possibly have to try to get things on the right path,

and slowly but surely working in the right direction.”

The Indians are hoping for more of the same from fellow All-Star

Justin Masterson (13-7, 3.33), who will try to extend the club’s

brilliant run of starting pitching. With Corey Kluber throwing 7

1-3 scoreless innings Monday, the Indians’ rotation has a 2.12 ERA

over the last 25 games.

Masterson (13-7, 3.33) is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA during that span

after giving up one run in 6 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 6-1 victory

over the White Sox.

“I was pitching and battling and trying to make things work,” he

said after his third straight winning start. “The overall sense is

we played well as a team.”

Masterson, though, has a 7.71 ERA in losing both his starts to

Detroit this year.

Martinez is 3 for 4 versus Masterson in those contests and 9 for

19 lifetime. The Tigers designated hitter is batting .400 against

Indians pitching this season following Monday’s three-hit


MLB batting leader Miguel Cabrera, 12 for 34 with two homers off

Masterson, finished with one hit in four at-bats Monday while

making his first start in five games due to an abdominal