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Game 62: Tigers at Pirates

Armando Galarraga (3-6, 5.19) vs. Zach Duke (6-4, 3.07), 7:05 p.m. EST

One Detroit team beat a team from Pittsburgh last night, and now the Tigers are the only game in town for the next couple of months. If you didn't know, you currently have a first-place baseball club, Detroit! Hopefully, they continue to play well now that they'll be getting the full attention of the Detroit sports fanbase and media.

Zach Duke has been the Pirates' best starting pitcher, leading the team in wins and ERA. He's also among the staff leaders in strikeouts and WHIP. However, after three outstanding starts in which he pitched at least seven innings, giving up two or fewer runs, Duke was rocked in his last appearance. The Braves tagged him for six runs and 11 hits in six innings, slugging three home runs in the process. (He'd only given up four for the season, coming into the game.) At PNC Park this year, Duke has a 4-2 record in six starts with a 2.66 ERA.

Armando Galarraga is winless in his past eight starts, as he still tries to regain a feel for the slider and sinker that he used so successfully last season. But he's shown improvement over his last three appearances. (And he probably would've gotten a win on Monday if Joel Zumaya hadn't given up a game-tying homer, then vultured the win for himself.) As it stands right now, Galarraga probably doesn't have to worry about his spot in the Tigers' starting rotation, due to Jeremy Bonderman's stalled recovery. But it's nice to know he's going out there every fifth day based on merit, as well.

I don't know if I'll be back in time to post the lineups before the first pitch, but is it too much to ask for Don Kelly not to be batting third tonight? I'm going to assume Marcus Thames will be in the lineup, with the left-handed Duke pitching against the Tigers.

UPDATE: Here are tonight's starting lineups:


Detroit Tigers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

06/13/09 7:05 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers Pittsburgh Pirates
Ryan Raburn - CF Andrew McCutchen - CF
Placido Polanco - 2B Nyjer Morgan - LF
Marcus Thames - LF Freddy Sanchez - 2B
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Adam LaRoche - 1B
Magglio Ordonez - RF Delwyn Young - RF
Brandon Inge - 3B Andy LaRoche - 3B
Gerald Laird - C Jason Jaramillo - C
Adam Everett - SS Jack Wilson - SS
Armando Galarraga - P Zach Duke - P