The Indians look for their seventh win in nine games Saturday when they continue their three-game series with the Tigers.
With one of the worst records in the AL, Cleveland (43-60) has spent the last two weeks trading away several of its big-name players, clearly in rebuilding mode. After Cliff Lee(notes) and Ben Francisco(notes) were sent to Philadelphia on Wednesday, popular All-Star catcher Victor Martinez(notes) was traded to Boston on Friday for right-hander Justin Masterson(notes) and minor league pitchers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price.
The Indians also sent right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt(notes) to Colorado on July 23 and first baseman Ryan Garko(notes) to San Francisco on Monday. The departure of Martinez, though, seemed to be the most emotional move.
“It’s a tough situation to see. We loved Victor and it was tough to see him go. We’ve kind of done it to ourselves.”
While management looks to the future, Cleveland has won six of eight, averaging 7.4 runs. Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) drove in three runs Friday as the Indians overcame Kerry Wood(notes) blowing his fifth save in 19 chances by giving up a two-run homer in the ninth to Carlos Guillen(notes).
“It was a great ballgame, we came out on the wrong end,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose club fell to 7-3 against the Indians this year. “They finally got the big hit and we didn’t.”
The loss was Detroit’s fourth in five games and dropped its division lead to 1 1/2 games over Chicago. Tigers starters are 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in the last five games.
Detroit is hoping to the acquisition of Jarrod Washburn(notes) from Seattle on Friday provides some help. Washburn, who is 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA, is scheduled to start Tuesday at home against Baltimore.
Porcello allowed five runs and two homers in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss to the White Sox on Sunday. He’s served up six homers in his last 18 2-3 innings, but the Tigers are expecting some inconsistency from the rookie.
“A hanging breaking ball or giving up a home run, that’s part of the game, this guy is not Bob Feller,” Leyland said.
The right-hander won his only start against the Indians, giving up a run in five innings in a 5-3 victory May 10.
Jeremy Sowers(notes) (3-7, 5.15) will take the mound for Cleveland. He avoided a third straight loss last Saturday, pitching seven scoreless innings against Seattle while allowing four hits in a 10-3 victory.
Sowers is 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA in five starts against the Tigers but hasn’t faced them this season.