Armando Galarraga’s(notes) last start against the Cleveland Indians featured a major controversy, with umpire Jim Joyce blowing a call that cost the pitcher a perfect game. Galarraga is trying to put another kind of controversy behind him heading into this rematch.
Galarraga was praised for his sportsmanship in the aftermath of the call, meeting Joyce at home plate the next day when the teams exchanged lineups to help console the embattled umpire.
The right-hander has received the complete opposite reaction following a 13-8 win over Chicago on Sunday, when he allowed four runs in five innings and didn’t get a decision. Galarraga and Avila got in a heated argument after the first inning and had to be separated.
“It was just a misunderstanding. That’s it,” Galarraga told the Tigers’ official website. “You always try to make your (game) plan, but sometimes the plan’s not the right way. It’s a misunderstanding.”
It’s uncertain whether Avila will catch Galarraga, 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven home starts since his near-perfect game.
Detroit (58-63) has won 12 of 15 at home against Cleveland (50-71), but it was a four-game road series against the Indians that began the club’s slide. The Tigers were one-half game out of first place at the All-Star break before being swept by the Indians from July 16-18.
Cabrera has hit five homers in his last five games.
Three of them came in Detroit’s last two contests, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Tigers from losing the final three games of a four-game set to New York. They fell 11-5 on Thursday after yielding nine runs in the sixth inning.
“The wheels kind of fell off in the one inning a little bit,” manager Jim Leyland said. “You can’t make the mistakes we’re making right now.”
Cleveland won for the third time in 11 games Thursday, 7-3 at Kansas City despite a season-high five errors. The victory came after a pregame speech from manager Manny Acta addressing the poor play.
“We wanted them to know we’re not going to be rebuilding forever,” Acta said. “These guys are not September callups. These guys have a legit chance to be a long-term part of this club.”
The Indians’ Justin Masterson(notes) (4-11, 5.23) has gone 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in two career starts against the Tigers. He allowed one hit in six scoreless innings of a 9-1 victory over Seattle on Sunday, but did not get the decision.