The Detroit Tigers have battled their way back within one-half game of Kansas City in the American League Central and slugger Miguel Cabrera may be ready to go on a big streak. The two-time defending AL MVP looks to build off his two-homer, four-hit effort in the series opener when the Tigers visit the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday for the second of a four-game set. Cabrera had not homered since Aug. 2 and his power surge ignited the Detroit offense in a 12-1 triumph over the Indians.
Cabrera, who was rested Sunday with a sore ankle, is still batting .304 with a team-high 94 RBIs and has gotten major support from Victor Martinez (.329, 28 homers, 90 RBIs) among others. The Indians might have been a bit bleary-eyed for the opener, returning home early in the morning after their suspended game at Kansas City on Sunday with first pitch Monday at 4 p.m. Carlos Santana has five RBIs in the last four contests for Cleveland, which trails Kansas City by 4 1/2 games and is four back of Detroit for the AL's second wild card.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Detroit, STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers Kyle Lobstein (0-0, 3.09 ERA) vs. Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 3.01)
Lobstein allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings in his first major-league start last Tuesday against the New York Yankees. The 25-year-old Arizona native gave up three runs to Minnesota over 5 2/3 innings in a relief appearance five days earlier. Lobstein, a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2008, went 9-11 with a 4.07 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) with Triple-A Toledo this season.
Carrasco has been brilliant since rejoining the rotation, yielding two runs and 11 hits over 24 2/3 innings while going 3-0. However, the Venezuela native has struggled against Detroit in his career with a 2-4 record in 10 outings (five starts) with a 8.07 ERA. Torii Hunter is 6-for-12 with two homers against Carrasco, who has 86 strikeouts and 21 walks in 89 2/3 innings in 2014 – 24 and three the last four starts.
1. Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler is 8-for-24 in his last five games with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs.
2. Cleveland 3B Lonnie Chisenhall is 12-for-23 during an eight-game hitting streak, including the go-ahead RBI double in Sunday’s suspended game against Kansas City.
3. Tigers C Alex Avila has collected six RBIs while going 5-for-15 in his last four contests.
PREDICTION: Indians 7, Tigers 3