Their lengthy home winning streak over, the Detroit Tigers could face a stiff challenge bouncing back against New York's Hiroki Kuroda.
Fresh off their first home loss in three weeks, the Tigers try to end Kuroda's recent success Thursday in the conclusion of their four-game set with the Yankees.
Former Tiger Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs and Robinson Cano added three hits as New York (64-46) snapped Detroit's 10-game home winning streak with a 12-8 victory Wednesday.
One-half game behind Chicago in the AL Central, the Tigers (60-51) had won six straight overall and 16 of 17 at home. Prince Fielder had two hits and newcomer Jeff Baker drove home two runs as Detroit nearly overcame a 7-0 deficit before the Yankees scored four times in the final two innings.
"We didn't start good and we didn't finish good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Detroit, which last lost two in a row at Comerica Park from July 2-3, could will be facing an in-form Kuroda (10-8, 3.19 ERA). The right-hander has allowed four runs over 28 1-3 innings to go 2-1 in his last four starts. He gave up the game's lone run while pitching 6 1-3 innings of a 1-0 home loss Saturday.
"He was phenomenal,'' New York catcher Russell Martin said. "Usually with this lineup, we're able to score a few runs.''
Kuroda is 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA in his last five road starts after posting a 6.23 ERA while losing his first four. The Yankees' only loss in his last five road outings came 4-3 on June 2 at Detroit, where he allowed two runs in seven innings..
Fielder, 4 for 12 against Kuroda, is 12 for 25 with nine RBIs in seven August games after going 0 for 12 the final four of July.
Looking for a third consecutive winning start, Detroit's Doug Fister (6-7, 3.52) is 5-1 with a 2.20 ERA since dropping three straight from June 22-July 2. He recorded his first complete game with the Tigers Saturday, throwing a four-hitter in a 6-1 win over Cleveland.
The right-hander has posted a 2.35 ERA while winning three straight starts at Comerica Park.
"You can't get any better than the way he's pitched his last few outings," catcher Alex Avila said.
Fister is 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA as a starter against the Yankees. That included a 3-2 win at New York in Game 5 of the AL division series when he gave up only a homer to Cano in five innings.
Cano, 4 for 11 against Fister, has batted .406 (13 for 32) with nine RBIs in his last eight games after he went 0 for 13 in his previous three.
One of Granderson's two hits in seven at-bats versus Fister left the park. Granderson batted .119 (5 for 42) in his previous 10 games, including 0 for 10 with five strikeouts in the first two of this set, before breaking out after being dropped to sixth in the order Wednesday.
"Sometimes you can make too much out of it,'' manager Joe Girardi said. "You just keep running him out there and he's going to be productive.''