Detroit Tigers (24-19) at Cleveland Indians (26-18)
Wednesday, May 22 - 7:05 PM EST
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland Indians are 7-1 against Cy Young Award winners this season, including a victory over Justin Verlander earlier this month. The Indians look to add to that resume when they face Verlander and the visiting Detroit Tigers again on Wednesday to end a two-game set. The Indians were pounding almost every starter they faced during an 18-4 run before Max Scherzer silenced their bats in a 5-1 victory Tuesday. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, 13-for-28 the last seven games, also homered for the fourth time in two contests.
The Indians were due for a rough night offensively after scoring 37 times during a five-game win streak. Slugger Mark Reynolds, who has a team-best 12 homers, is only 3-for-32 with one blast in his last nine games. Leadoff batter Michael Bourn did have two hits Tuesday and has warmed up, going 9-for-22 with five runs scored in his last five games.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Detroit, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Justin Verlander (4-4, 3.17 ERA) vs. Indians RH Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2, 5.31)
Verlander has dropped his last two starts, one against the Indians and Jimenez on May 11. The former American League MVP gave up four runs (three earned) and six hits over five innings in that 7-6 loss to Cleveland. Verlander had yielded two or fewer runs in six of his first seven turns. The right-hander is 14-14 with a 4.57 ERA in 31 starts against the Indians. Michael Brantley is 11-for-26 against Verlander.
Jimenez has turned his season around, allowing two or fewer runs in his last four starts and winning all three decisions. The 29-year-old has given up seven homers in 40 2/3 innings, but opponents are batting only .224 against him. Jimenez yielded three hits and one run over six innings against Detroit 11 days ago. He is 5-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 14 starts vs. Cleveland. Victor Martinez is 6-for-18 with two homers against Jimenez.
1. Detroit OF Andy Dirks is 11-for-36 with a pair of homers this season in the leadoff spot.
2. Cleveland leads the American League in batting average (.301) and homers (10) with two outs and runners in scoring position.
3. Cabrera has 28 homers in 98 career games against the Indians and took over sole possession of 100th all time with 333 blasts.
PREDICTION: Indians 6, Tigers 5