As fans tune in to watch Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers chase 500 career homers, they might see some good baseball as well.
The Tigers will try to win their second straight three-game series this week when they visit the Indians in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit won two of three against the visiting Boston Red Sox before heading to Cleveland, and the Tigers have lost just one series since the All-Star break.
Cabrera hit his 498th home run in a 4-2 win against the Red Sox on Tuesday but remains two short of the milestone reached by only 27 other MLB players.
Cabrera went 0-for-3 with a walk in a 2-1 win against the Indians on Saturday night.
Cal Quantrill went seven solid innings and got the win for the Indians in a 6-1 win in the series opener on Friday night, and rookie right-hander Eli Morgan pitched another seven innings for Cleveland on Saturday but took the loss.
The Indians will look for Zach Plesac (6-4, 4.64 ERA) to produce another strong performance and help keep Cleveland from falling three games under .500 for the first time since they were 8-11.
Plesac, a right-hander, was 5-0 with a 3.50 ERA over 10 starts before losing his most recent outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. He gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 7-2 loss.
Plesac did not have a strikeout or a walk, marking the first time since Aug. 15, 2012, that a Cleveland pitcher had thrown at least five innings without notching either.
“Back to the drawing board,” Plesac said after his latest start. “Take it in, analyze (the Blue Jays), watch how their approaches were against me, and I’m just going to learn their lineup for another time.”
Against Detroit, Plesac is 3-1 overall with an 0.88 ERA. He opened the season with back-to-back starts against the Tigers and combined to allow two runs in 13 innings.
The Tigers plan to start right-hander Wily Peralta in the series finale. Peralta (3-2, 3.47) showed signs of getting back on track in his last outing. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 4 2/3 innings of a 4-2 win against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Detroit manager A.J. Hinch allowed Peralta to throw a season-high 96 pitches, hoping he could last the five innings needed for a win, but he walked back-to-back batters with two outs in the fifth and was lifted.
“He was pretty clean until the very end,” Hinch said.
Peralta had a five-start stretch from June 26 to July 18 in which he went 3-0 and allowed just one earned run in 26 2/3 innings (0.34 ERA). He was a different pitcher in his final two starts in July, however, surrendering 11 earned runs in eight innings as his ERA ballooned from 1.64 to 3.64.
During the hot stretch, Peralta made one of his two career starts against the Indians. He did not allow an earned run over five innings in a 7-1 win on June 30, which completed a doubleheader sweep.
It was Peralta’s first win since April 17, 2019, and his first victory as a starter in four years.
Peralta has made 14 appearances against the Indians in his career, owning a 3-2 record and a 3.50 ERA.
–Field Level Media