Tigers-Indians Preview

Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera are two big reasons the Detroit

Tigers have dominated the Cleveland Indians this season.

The veteran pair again looks to lead the visiting Tigers as they

try for an eighth consecutive victory over the struggling Indians

on Sunday.

Hunter came within a single of the cycle and had three RBIs

while Cabrera hit a two-run homer to help Detroit (48-38) to a 9-4

win Saturday.

The Indians (45-42) held a one-half game AL Central lead over

Detroit on Tuesday, but since have dropped four in a row to fall 3

1/2 games back of the Tigers, who have outscored them 16-4 in the

first two of this four-game set.

A winner in eight of 10 against the Indians this season, Detroit

has outscored Cleveland 49-22 during its seven-game winning streak

in the series. The Tigers also have won seven of nine at

Progressive Field.

“We’ll show up (Sunday),” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

‘We certainly need to do better against them. They’re the team that

is directly ahead of us and they’ve kind of had their way with us,

but I don’t think we’ll show up (Sunday) and not feel we’re going

to win. But we need to play better.”

Detroit has won five straight since losing six of seven.

Hunter, who hit a two-run homer Saturday, is batting .366 with

six RBIs against the Indians this year.

Cabrera has homered four times with 12 RBIs in 10 games versus

Cleveland in 2013. He’s hit .355 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in

his last seven at Progressive Field.

“He’s been the best hitter on the planet for a long time,”

Hunter said.

Both named All-Stars on Saturday, Hunter and Cabrera are batting

a combined .444 (8 for 18) against Cleveland’s Corey Kluber (6-5,

4.33 ERA).

The right-hander has posted an 8.44 ERA while losing three

straight starts to the Tigers, including two this season in which

he yielded 11 runs over 11 innings. However, he pitched well in a

home start against Detroit on May 21, giving up three runs on two

homers in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss.

Kluber went 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in three starts June 11-22, but

is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in the last two. He gave up a grand slam and

three other hits over 5 1-3 innings of a 6-5 win at Kansas City on

Tuesday.

The Tigers’ Doug Fister (6-5, 3.80) has also struggled of late,

going 0-1 with a 7.16 ERA in his last three starts. For the second

time during that stretch, the right-hander allowed six runs, this

time in the first two innings of a six-inning effort in a 7-6 win

at Toronto on Tuesday.

Fister, 2-1 with a 2.12 ERA in four starts against the Indians

in 2012, has yielded two runs and eight hits over 16 innings to win

his last two in the series.

Recently named Cleveland All-Star Jason Kipnis is 6 for 17

(.353) with two doubles against Fister. The second baseman had both

his 16-game hitting streak and run of reaching base in 36 straight

contests end Saturday.

Teammate Mark Reynolds is 0 for 20 with 11 strikeouts in six

games, but is 3 for 10 with a homer against Fister.