Tigers
(81-70)
vs.
Indians
(61-89)

Solid starting pitching has helped Detroit win two in a row and maintain its lead in the AL Central. Rick Porcello has a good chance to continue that run for the Tigers.

The 20-year-old rookie right-hander looks to remain perfect against Cleveland while trying to help extend the Indians' season-high losing streak to 10 games Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

After Nate Robertson threw five solid innings in a 6-2 win at Minnesota on Sunday, All-Star Edwin Jackson tossed seven shutout innings in Detroit's 3-1 win over Cleveland in Tuesday's series opener.

The Tigers (80-70), who won for the fifth time in 14 contests, had a seven-game cushion in the division Sept. 6, but lead the Twins by 2 1/2 games with 12 remaining - including four versus Minnesota starting Monday.

"It's imperative right now,'' Jackson said. "Every start we make is going to be a clutch start. Right now you have to leave it all on the field. It's that time of the year where every game is not necessarily a must win, but it's important to get as many as we can.''

Porcello (13-9, 4.22 ERA) has fared well against the last-place Indians (61-89), going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts.

Porcello, though, will try to bounce back from his first loss since Aug. 23 after giving up three runs in six innings of a 3-0 defeat at Minnesota on Friday. Porcello is 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his last five starts.

"This is a lot of fun,'' Porcello said of being part of his first pennant race. "This is what baseball is all about.''

Magglio Ordonez had three hits and Ryan Raburn hit his 14th homer Tuesday for the Tigers, who won their fourth straight over the Indians to improve to 12-4 against their division rival.

Rayburn, who's set a career high for home runs, has homered in two straight games and three of his last six. Ordonez, meanwhile, is 6 for 11 in his last three games and batting .436 against Cleveland this year.

Shin-Soo Choo had three hits for Cleveland, which is 3-17 in September and mired in its longest losing streak since dropping 10 in a row from June 28-July 9, 2008.

"It's not like we're trying to lose,'' Tuesday's losing pitcher Aaron Laffey said. "And it doesn't matter, at least to me, who we are playing. You have to give 100 percent focus on every pitch. No matter who you face, you want to win.''

Choo has been one of the Indians' most consistent hitters, batting .303 with a career high 16 homers and 79 RBIs. He's hitting .387 in his last seven games versus the Tigers.

Cleveland's Justin Masterson (4-8, 4.49) looks to avoid a fifth consecutive loss in this contest after allowing five runs in four innings of a 5-2 defeat at Oakland on Thursday.

The right-hander, who's 1-5 with a 4.79 ERA in eight starts for the Indians, makes his first start against Detroit after giving up two hits and striking out six in 3 2-3 scoreless innings of relief versus the Tigers.

BUY Tigers vs. Indians Tickets
Batting
Runs Avg. OBP SLG
CLE 773 0.264 0.339 0.417
DET 743 0.260 0.331 0.416
Pitching & Defense
Runs ERA WHIP QS
CLE 865 5.07 1.512 70
DET 745 4.34 1.412 73