The Detroit Tigers have flipped the switch and ascended in the standings after winning 13 of 20 games since the All-Star break.
The Tigers aim to continue their good fortune on Friday when they open a three-game series against the host Cleveland Indians.
“I know it sounds coach-speak, but I love to win the day. And then we won a series, and we won a homestand,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said following his team’s 8-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday in the rubber match of the three-game series.
“We just keep being very present in what the challenge was in front of us.”
The next challenge comes in the form of the Indians, who have won eight of the 13 meetings this season. The Tigers, however, won two of their last three encounters in their last trip to Cleveland in late June.
Miguel Cabrera was kept in the park on Thursday and remains stuck on 498 career homers. The slugger has gone deep three times in the season series against the Indians.
Robbie Grossman belted his third leadoff homer of 2021 before he was hit by a pitch in the second. Grossman remained in the game to run the bases but did not come out to play the field to start the third.
“All things checked out via the doctor,” Hinch said. “He’s going to be really sore. I’ve got to check with him to see if tomorrow is a good day (to play). I was thinking about Saturday off for him anyway, so we’ll see. He’s day-to-day, but I took him out because he was uncomfortable.”
Detroit rookie right-hander Matt Manning (2-4, 5.59 ERA) will make his ninth career start and second this season against Cleveland.
Manning, 23, was shelled by the Indians on June 28, permitting nine runs on as many hits — including two homers — in 3 2/3 innings in a 13-5 setback.
He allowed five runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Right-hander Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.40) will provide the opposition on Friday for Cleveland, which lost its third consecutive contest with a 3-0 setback to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. The Indians are 7-12 since the All-Star break.
Quantrill, 26, has allowed just one run in each of his last four trips to the mound, but he has three straight no-decisions to show for it.
“He’s been consistent. That’s the one thing, when you think about his month and when he got in the starting rotation, he was built up and you see the consistency,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. “He’s going out there and really giving his team a chance to win and be in games.
“You know, it’s interesting, I kind of see him evolving with some of his pitches. I thought he went to his changeup a little bit and got some foul balls, some pulled fouls, which really got him back even in the count. He was able to make some of his other pitches to get outs. So consistency is something that comes to mind, and also mixing his pitches very well.”
Quantrill is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in four career appearances (one start) against Detroit.
–Field Level Media