The Tigers have won Fister’s last six starts and will try to win their eighth straight meeting with the Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Comerica Park.
Fister (10-13, 2.94 ERA) has been a key factor in Detroit’s AL Central title. He’s 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA since coming over from Seattle on July 30, and 5-0 with a 0.81 mark in his last six starts.
The right-hander allowed an unearned run over three innings of relief Wednesday to earn a 6-3 win at Kansas City. With that work in between his Aug. 16 outing and Monday’s start, Fister is on track to take the ball in Game 2 of the AL division series.
He’s 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts against the Indians this year, including 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three with Detroit. Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) (3 for 15) and Carlos Santana(notes) (1 for 11) have both struggled against him in 2011.
Fister’s first outing in the division series could come at home. The Tigers (92-67) own the tiebreaker over AL West champion Texas, but the Rangers have a one-game lead and Detroit isn’t overly concerned with catching them.
This three-game series gives Detroit a chance to continue its recent dominance of second-place Cleveland (80-79). The Tigers lost six of the first eight meetings before their current run.
Cabrera went 9 for 14 in a four-game set against Baltimore that was capped by Sunday’s 10-6 win, homering in each of the final three games before leaving Sunday with lightheadedness.
Manager Jim Leyland didn’t seem worried about his slugger.
“He got dizzy,” Leyland said. “I just didn’t want to take any chances.”
Martinez added a three-run homer Sunday for Detroit, which has alternated losses and wins over its last 10.
While the addition of Fister bolstered Detroit’s rise, the same can’t be said of Cleveland’s deadline acquisition of Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) (4-3, 4.62). Jimenez is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts against the Tigers with Cleveland.
Martinez is 4 for 11 with two homers against the right-hander this season.
Jimenez will wrap up his season after he dropped an 8-4 decision to the Chicago White Sox last Wednesday by yielding four runs over seven innings.
The Indians are two victories shy of their first winning season in four years. They had a four-game win streak snapped with Sunday’s 6-4, 10-inning home loss to Minnesota.