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Detroit Tigers (86-74) at Atlanta Braves (67-93)
Sunday, October 02 - 3:10 PM EST
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
The Detroit Tigers are left with zero margin for error as they wrap up an interleague series with the Atlanta Braves in the final game at Turner Field on Sunday. The Tigers will need a loss by either Baltimore or Toronto on Sunday in addition to defeating both the Braves in the series finale and upending Cleveland in a make-up contest the following day to force a play-in game for an American League wild-card spot.
Ian Kinsler ripped a run-scoring double in Saturday's 5-3 setback to extend his hitting and RBI streaks to eight and nine games, respectively. Detroit will turn to veteran Justin Verlander on Sunday to continue his late-season success as the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner is 33-16 in his career during regular-season starts in September and October. Freddie Freeman belted a two-run homer on Saturday to improve to 1-for-11 over his last three contests after enjoying a 30-game hitting streak. The Braves, who have won 11 of their last 13 contests, will move to SunTrust Park in suburban Atlanta next season.
TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Justin Verlander (16-8, 3.10 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (6-10, 3.33)
Verlander has authored three consecutive gems in which he has posted a 2-0 record after allowing two runs and nine hits with 30 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. The 33-year-old scattered four hits and fanned 12 in 7 2/3 frames of a 12-0 rout of Cleveland on Tuesday. Verlander has won both career starts against Atlanta, striking out 17 in 14 innings while limiting the Braves to just a .200 batting average.
Teheran was fortunate to walk away with a no-decision on Tuesday allowing six runs and 10 hits in four innings versus Philadelphia. The 25-year-old Colombian owns a 3-1 mark after coming off the disabled list in mid-August but has yielded five or more runs in three of those seven starts. Teheran has surrendered six homers in those outings and owns a 1-6 record at home this season.
1. Detroit LF Justin Upton, a former Brave, has homered in back-to-back contests and gone deep nine times in his last 14 games.
2. Atlanta SS Dansby Swanson is 6-for-12 with a homer, three RBIs and six runs scored during his four-game hitting streak.
3. Tigers RF J.D. Martinez is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in the series.
PREDICTION: Tigers 3, Braves 2