Indians-Tigers Preview

The Associated Press

A matchup with the slumping Cleveland Indians has only helped the Detroit Tigers continue their recent success at Comerica Park.

While seeking a better performance from right-hander Max Scherzer, the Tigers will try to complete a three-game sweep of the Indians and move closer to the AL Central lead Sunday.

Detroit (57-50) is 13-1 over its last 14 home games after a pair of wins over Cleveland (50-57) this weekend. Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta each drove in a pair of runs in the latest of those victories, 6-1 on Saturday.

Prince Fielder also had two hits during his team's seventh consecutive home win, giving him seven in 11 at-bats this month.

The Tigers, who trail Chicago by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central, are on their longest win streak at Comerica since a nine-game run June 2-18, 2010.

Scherzer (10-6, 4.62 ERA) will try to help the Tigers add to that streak and close out the Indians, losers of eight in a row, by rebounding from his first loss since June 23. The right-hander gave up five runs over 6 1-3 innings to Boston on Monday while ending a four-game win streak.

"There was just a handful, enough times when I missed my location, and they did a good job of making me pay for it," Scherzer told the team's website.

Scherzer posted a 2.81 ERA over that five-start stretch and capped it with a 5-3 win in Cleveland on July 25. He gave up two runs and three hits over seven innings while striking out eight in that game.

The right-hander, though, wasn't nearly as dialed in during his only home start against the Indians this season June 6. He gave up a season-high eight runs - five earned - over 4 1-3 innings of a 9-6 defeat.

Before that outing, Scherzer had performed well against the Indians at Comerica, going 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA in four matchups there.

He'll try to recapture that success against an Indians team enduring its longest losing streak since an 11-game skid Sept. 13-24, 2009. Cleveland has also dropped nine straight on the road, its longest drought since a franchise-worst 15-game losing streak Aug. 30-Oct. 4, 2009.

Chris Seddon is expected to have the difficult task of trying to help end those skids in his first major league start since Sept. 29, 2007. He's needed in the rotation after veteran Derek Lowe was designated for assignment Thursday.

The Indians could use a strong outing from the left-hander as their starters are a combined 0-7 with a 12.08 ERA over the last eight games.

Seddon, who hasn't appeared in the majors since October 2010, went 11-5 with a 3.44 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 27 walks in 20 starts for Triple-A Columbus this season. He was 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in July.

"He's pitched very well at Triple-A," manager Manny Acta said. "Our staff felt that he could come up here and compete and give us a chance to win. ... He's been around. I don't think he's going to be rattled by being up here."

Seddon, who has made four major league starts, earned his only career win in 2010 while pitching in relief for Seattle.