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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | July 26, 2014

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Game #42: Detroit Tigers (20-21) at Cleveland Indians (23-18)

By Mike Brandyberry

Tonight begins the biggest series of the season to date for the Cleveland Indians. If all goes as planned, both this week and this summer, it will be eclipsed each time the Tigers and Tribe match up. Tonight is the first of 18 matchups between the two teams. While the Tigers currently sit in third place, they still remain the largest obstacle for the Indians to overcome if they wish to win the American League Central Division.

Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3, 5.09 ERA) takes the mound for the Indians this evening. Jimenez has had much greater success at home this season than on the road. In the friendly confines of Progressive Field, Jimenez has 3.12 ERA and hitters only bat .157 against him. Likewise, a year ago Jimenez had two strong outings at home against the Motor City Kitties. Jimenez pitched eight and seven strong innings, respectively, in two home starts against Detroit.

The Tigers will counter with their own enigma on the mound, Rick Porcello (3-3, 5.12 ERA). Porcello lasted just four innings, allowing six runs on six hits. Only two of the runs were earned, however. The Tiger defense has struggled all season. Porcello has struggled in his last two starts.

The series, and year-long matchup, will demonstrate the stark contrast between the two clubs. The Indians are built around solid pitching and defense and timely hitting, while the Tigers choose to slug out victories, paying little attention to glove work.

The Indians will not just be playing to prove to the Tigers that they are here to stay for the season, but also to their fans. Closer Chris Perez ridiculed fans and their lack of attendance this weekend. How he is received by fans could be a distraction to the game, or the fuel needed for Pure Rage to close out a victory.

Game time is slated for 7:05 at Progressive Field. The game can be found on SportsTime Ohio and on the Indians Radio Network.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Johnny Damon, LF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Jose Lopez, 3B

Detroit Tigers Starting Lineup
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Brennan Boesch, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images