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Game 154: Tigers (71-82) at Indians (77-77)

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Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 8.82) vs. Scott Lewis (2-0, 0.00)

After losing 6-3 to the Indians last night (with Justin Verlander being tagged with his MLB-leading 17th loss), the Tigers face yet another salvage Sunday in which they try to win at least one game in a series.

Dontrelle Willis pitched well enough in his return to the Tigers, posting five walks in five innings, but only allowing two hits. (The effort might have looked more impressive had Freddy Garcia not thrown so well two nights later.) The Indians were the last team Willis faced before heading down to the minors, and it wasn't pretty. Eight runs, five walks, and three hits in just 1 1/3 innings put the D-Train on the tracks for Lakeland.

Scott Lewis takes over for Anthony Reyes, who was shut down last week with elbow inflammation. Considering how well he's pitched, maybe that was a good thing for the Tribe. In two starts, Lewis hasn't allowed a single run, while giving up just six hits in 14 innings.

Going into today's play, Detroit are only two games ahead of the Royals for last place in the AL Central. The playoffs were a lost cause months ago. Third place now looks out of reach. How about staying out of last? Is that an attainable goal for the last week of the 2008 season?