American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, July 18
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (47-47) at Detroit Tigers (53-38), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Trevor Bauer (3-4, 3.84)
Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.04)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The All-Star break may have come at an inopportune time
for the Detroit Tigers.
The American League Central leaders hope to continue rolling on Friday when
they kick off the second half of their season with the first of four games
against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.
After having its division lead dwindled down to just 1 1/2 games, Detroit went
into the break having won 17 of 23 games. The Tigers actually closed their
first half by taking three of four from the Royals to extend their advantage
to 6 1/2 games.
Detroit's 53 wins are the most wins by any Tigers team since 2006, when they
won 59 by the break.
"I've said you don't get overly excited about where you are in the standings
until the end of the season, but you certainly can't complain being atop the
division," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Hoping to keep them in the win column on Friday, the Tigers will rely on
righty Anibal Sanchez, who has won six of his last seven decisions. Sanchez
beat Kansas City last Friday, holding it to a run and eight hits over seven
innings to run his record to 6-3, while lowering his ERA to 3.04.
He's 5-1 with 3.11 ERA in his last 10 outings.
Sanchez has faced the Indians eight times and is 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Trevor Bauer, who will try to
follow up the best start of his young career. Bauer closed his first half by
blanking the Chicago White Sox over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He also struck
out 10 batters in that start on Sunday, but did not get a decision in his
team's 3-2 win.
"It takes me a little while to get comfortable in the game situation," said,
who Bauer, who is 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA. "So when I did get comfortable, my
velocity picked up a little bit, my stuff a little bit sharper and I was able
to locate better."
Bauer is 1-0 in two starts versus the Tigers with a 4.38 ERA.
Cleveland, which has split eight games this season with Detroit, won six of
nine before the break and is 7 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central.
07/18 10:31:08 ET