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Old 08-27-2006, 12:50 AM
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Default MLB Baseball Matchup - Detroit at Cleveland - 8-27-06

Detroit (81-49) at Cleveland (60-68)

Cliff Lee (10-9, 4.61 ERA) takes the ball for the Indians, who will attempt to complete a three-game sweep of baseball’s best team in the final regular-season meeting between these A.L. Central rivals. Kenny Rogers (13-6, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to get the nod for the slumping Tigers.

Cleveland topped the Detroit 8-5 on Saturday for its fourth straight victory overall and its eighth straight win at home. Eric Wedge’s club is 13-4 since Aug. 9.

While the Indians have been surging, Detroit has hit the skids, losing four in a row, seven of nine and 13 of 18. On the bright side, despite losing the last two nights, the Tigers still lead the season series 12-6, winning five of eight clashes at Jacobs Field.

Rogers has been phenomenal in his last three starts, going 2-1 while allowing just two earned runs in 19 innings, good for a 0.95 ERA. The veteran southpaw is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four starts this month after going 1-2 with a 9.28 ERA in five July contests.

Rogers has lost three straight road games, and he’s just 7-5 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 games as a visitor, including 1-1 with an 11.57 ERA at Jacobs Field (nine earned runs in seven innings). In fact, he’s struggled in five starts versus the Tribe this year, going 2-2 with a 6.15 ERA.

Lee has pitched well over the last month, allowing three earned runs or fewer in five of six starts, but he’s just 1-2 during that stretch. Moreover, Cleveland is only 1-6 in Lee’s last seven trips to the mound (1-2 at home).

The lefthander is 6-5 with a 4.38 ERA at home, but two of those losses came against the Tigers as he gave up 11 runs (six earned) and 19 hits in 11 combined innings. For the season, he’s 0-3 with a 4.01 ERA in four outings against Detroit.

Against lefthanders, the Tigers are batting .324 over the last 10 games, while Cleveland has posted a .261 average over that same span.

Although last night’s game soared over the total, the under is on runs of 12-5-1 for Detroit, 11-4-1 for the Indians in day games and 7-4-2 in the last 13 contests at Jacobs Field. Also, four of the last six series meetings have stayed low.

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