Indians, Tigers square off again (Jul 07, 2017)

BY AP • July 7, 2017

CLEVELAND -- Last weekend, the Cleveland Indians won two of three games in Detroit against the Tigers. On Friday night, the American League Central rivals will meet again, this time at Progressive Field.

Detroit holds a 5-4 lead in the season series.

The Tigers come into the weekend having won six of their past 10 games, including two of three from the San Francisco Giants in Detroit, the last of those a 6-2 victory on Thursday. The Tigers hope to use that win as a momentum-builder going into the last series before the All-Star break.

"Winning this series is a good start," Detroit catcher James McCann said. "We've got to come out and find a way to win each and every day. We've been waiting for that hot streak as a team, so why not right now? Why not start in Cleveland (heading into) the All-Star break and feel good coming out of the All-Star break?"

The Friday pitching matchup will feature the same starters from Saturday at Comerica Park, in which Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco bested Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann in a 4-1 Indians victory.

In that game, Carrasco (9-3, 3.50 ERA) pitched seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Zimmermann (5-6, 5.58 ERA) pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

In three starts against Detroit this year, Carrasco is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA. In 19 2/3 innings, he has given up 13 hits with 17 strikeouts and seven walks. Zimmermann has made just the one appearance against Cleveland this year.

In 22 career appearances against the Tigers, 17 of them starts, Carrasco is 8-7 with a 4.41 ERA. Zimmermann, in three career starts vs. the Indians, is 0-2 with a 10.67 ERA.

On Friday, the Indians will play their fourth consecutive game without their manager. Terry Francona remained hospitalized after he underwent a cardiac ablation procedure on Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic for an irregular heartbeat.

Francona will miss the entire Detroit series and will not manage the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, the Indians announced Friday. He is expected to resume managing the team beginning July 14.

The Indians are 1-2 under acting manager Brad Mills. They are coming off an interleague series against San Diego in which the Padres won two of the three games at Progressive Field. Cleveland's sputtering offense scored only two runs in the first two games, then erupted in an 11-2 win on Thursday.

Mills hopes that the team's bats will remain noisy for the Detroit series. According to Mills, Indians hitters have changed their approach, and it seemed to pay dividends in the Thursday outburst vs. San Diego.

"We're taking balls to the opposite field more and not trying to pull everything," said Mills, who feels the hitters had begun to press. "It's nice to see us getting contributions from everyone. Our approach with runners in scoring position has been better."

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