A pair of pitchers enjoying breakout seasons hope to break out of recent funks when Jake Westbrook and the Cleveland Indians wrap up a three-game series with Nate Robertson and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Westbrook, who made his first All-Star team this year as a replacement for Boston’s Curt Schilling, has posted a career-best 12 wins. But the right-hander has lost his last three starts despite surrendering six earned runs over 21 innings in those outings.
Handed an early 3-0 lead on Friday, Westbrook surrendered four runs and seven hits over five innings in a 6-4 loss to Kansas City.
“When you get three runs, you’ve got to be aggressive,” said Westbrook, who had yielded just one run in each of his previous two starts. “I wasn’t that. I let them right back in the ballgame. I can’t do that.”
Robertson also has a career-best 12 wins this year, but is 0-2 in his last three outings. The left-hander did not receive a decision in Detroit’s 11-10 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday, surrendering six runs and nine hits over six innings. Robertson has allowed 17 runs over 16 innings during his winless streak after yielding just four runs over 25 innings in winning his previous three outings.
The Tigers took Monday’s series opener 3-1 but dropped an 8-7 decision Tuesday as Ben Broussard sparked a Cleveland comeback with five RBIs. Broussard hit a three-homer in the sixth and doubled home two runs in the eighth before Casey Blake’s RBI single in the ninth won it for the Indians.
“Benny had a great night for us—he has more clutch hits than anyone on the team this year,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “These guys have fought and come from behind quite a few times this year. They did a hell of a job coming back this time.”
Ivan Rodriguez went 2-for-5 with two RBIs for the Tigers, who squandered a 7-2 lead.
Detroit has lost three of four.