Another home run from Miguel Cabrera didn't give the Detroit Tigers enough to end their recent road woes against the Cleveland Indians, but another strong outing from Max Scherzer might do the trick.
The right-hander, though, will seek to end his own struggles in Cleveland, where he pursues a fourth consecutive win Wednesday night.
Cabrera has hit eight of his 24 homers in helping the Tigers win 13 of 16 games, and his fourth in five games - a two-run shot in the seventh inning - tied Tuesday's series opener.
Detroit, though, allowed the go-ahead run in the bottom of that frame on a squeeze bunt and suffered a 3-2 defeat - its fourth in as many games at Progressive this season. The Tigers (52-45), who had a five-game win streak snapped, are 1-6 overall against the Indians (49-48) this season after winning their final 10 matchups in 2011.
"We couldn't get hits early on. We had some chances. We had nine guys left on. We've had been (driving in runs) pretty good lately," said manager Jim Leyland, whose team scored 29 runs during its win streak. "We had some chances. We just couldn't do it. "
Scherzer (9-5, 4.61 ERA) would appear to have a good chance to help his team beat Cleveland - he's 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA over his last four starts. The right-hander allowed one run and struck out nine over seven innings Thursday in his latest outing, a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
It was Scherzer's seventh start with nine or more strikeouts this season.
"He's got unbelievable stuff," catcher Alex Avila told the team's website.
Scherzer is also 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA over his last seven starts since a miserable outing against Cleveland on June 6 at Comerica Park. He was tagged for a season-high eight runs - five earned - over 4 1-3 innings during that 9-6 defeat.
Scherzer is 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA in four lifetime starts at Progressive and gave up five runs over 6 2-3 innings during the most recent game April 29, 2011.
This time, he'll face veteran right-hander Derek Lowe (8-8, 5.04), who is seeking to rebound from one of his worst outings of the season. The Michigan native matched a career high by allowing nine runs Friday to Baltimore. He also gave up seven hits and five walks over three-plus innings of that 10-2 drubbing.
"The game speaks for itself. It was embarrassing, frustrating, all of the above," he said. "I have a lot of work to do. You can't bury your head in the sand and think it will work out. You have to spend some time in the video room and analyze the good and the bad."
Lowe, 2-6 with an 8.31 ERA in his last 10 starts, gave up seven runs over five innings during a 7-5 loss to Detroit on June 7. Cabrera hit a two-run shot off Lowe during that game, but the Tigers third baseman is just 5 for 26 (.192) lifetime against him.
Shin-Soo Choo is 10 for 17 (.588) versus Scherzer and Travis Hafner is batting .462 (6 for 13).