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Game 18: Tigers at Royals

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Armando Galarraga (2-0, 1.96) vs. Sidney Ponson (0-2, 7.04), 2:10 p.m. EST

The Tigers nipped those losing feelings in the bud last night, ending a two-game losing streak with a 9-1 win over the Royals. If they win today, and the White Sox lose to Toronto, the Tigers could have first place in the AL Central all to themselves by this evening.

Detroit should probably be facing Luke Hochevar in this spot, but Kansas City is doing them (and really, the entire American League) a favor by keeping him in the minors and starting Sidney Ponson instead. Ponson actually pitched respectably in his first two games, but the bad Sir Sidney resurfaced in his last start. In 3.1 innings, the Indians hung six runs and eight hits on him. Ponson also walked four batters.

Ponson faced the Tigers once last season while with the Twins, and they lit him up for seven runs (six earned) and nine hits in three innings. In nine career starts against the Tigers, Ponson has a 4-4 record and 6.62 ERA.

Armando Galarraga wasn't sharp in his last start, and the Angels took advantage of his poor control by working him for 110 pitches in just five innings. But it's to The Little Cat's credit that he was able to stay in the game that long. Galarraga only faced the Royals twice last year, but looked good doing it. In 14 innings, he allowed just three Kansas City runs.