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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 50
CIN 46
Final
BOS 75
MIA 83
4th
NYK 90
LAL 71
 
Final
FSU 55
MIAMI 54
Final
YOUNG 80
OU 96
 
Final
ECU 50
CIN 46
Final
MSU 76
MICH 66
Final
DAY 101
FORD 77
 
2nd
MON 74
MAN 87
 
Final
CAN 67
MAR 75
 
1st OT
NIAG 92
QUIN 92
 
2nd
USC 29
UTAH 55
 
2nd
WASH 45
CAL 48
 
2nd
HOU 37
UCONN 27
 
2nd
WILL 44
NDST 49
 
Final
MON 2
ARI 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
3rd
PIT 0
NAS 4
 
2nd
VAN 0
MIN 0
 
6:30pm Tonight
SEA
NEP