Sweeping their way into the AL Central lead, the red-hot Detroit Tigers are looking to stay there after making a key trade.
The Cleveland Indians are just trying to get back over .500.
The Tigers go for their second six-game winning streak this month as they open a three-game series with the Indians on Tuesday night.
Detroit (52-44) has won 13 of 15 to take over the top spot in the division after it was 4 1/2 games back of Chicago on July 3. A five-game win streak has put the Tigers one game ahead of the second-place White Sox and four in front of Cleveland (48-48).
They won a season-high six in a row from July 4-13 and moved closer to matching that run after sweeping a three-game set from the White Sox, capping it with Sunday's 6-4 victory.
Detroit had spent much of this season struggling to live up to expectations after winning the Central by 15 games over the Indians last year, and acquiring first baseman Prince Fielder via free agency.
"We're playing good right now, but we have to continue," manager Jim Leyland said. "Even when times were bad earlier in the season, it was not because of lack of effort or people not being ready to play. We just weren't playing very good."
Leyland's club got even stronger Monday with the acquisition of second baseman Omar Infante and right-hander Anibal Sanchez from Miami in exchange for 21-year-old righty Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers.
Infante spent his first six seasons with Detroit, helping the club reach the 2006 World Series. He hit .287 with 10 stolen bases for the Marlins this year, while Sanchez was 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA.
"I am happy to go to Detroit," Infante said through a translator. "I know Detroit, they are in first place. I am happy to go back and hopefully do good there."
Infante is hitting .327 in 29 games at Cleveland.
Doug Fister (4-6, 4.04 ERA) has also found success against the Indians, going 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his last four meetings.
The right-hander is scheduled to face them for the first time since allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 4-2 loss at Progressive Field on May 23.
Fister is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last three starts, including a superb performance in Wednesday's 7-2 win over Los Angeles. He yielded one run and two hits while striking out a season-high 10 in eight innings.
Shin-Soo Choo will try to help the Indians to back-to-back victories for the first time since a three-game winning streak from July 3-5. His two-run homer Monday backed a strong outing from Justin Masterson in a 3-1 win over Baltimore, snapping a four-game skid.
Choo is batting .356 in his last 22 games, and owns a .409 average with 12 runs in the past 11 meetings with Detroit. He's 8 for 19 with two homers against Fister.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9, 5.24) will try to beat the Tigers for the third time in two months.
The right-hander limited Detroit to one run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 road victory June 5, and overcame a career high-tying six walks in six innings during a 5-3 win at Comerica Park on May 22.
Jimenez, though, has lost back-to-back starts while surrendering 13 runs with nine walks in eight innings.
Detroit's Delmon Young is 9 for 20 (.450) with a home run against Jimenez.
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Omar Infante
- White Sox