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Game 86: Indians at Tigers

Carl Pavano (7-7, 5.36) vs. Armando Galarraga (5-7, 5.03), 7:05 p.m. EST

During the spring, Carl Pavano was a reason most people (including me) changed their preseason AL Central pick from the Indians to the Twins. ("If Carl Pavano is Cleveland's #3 starter, their starting pitching can't be good." And Pavano is now the Tribe's #2 starter, after Fausto Carmona crapped out and was sent to the minors.)

Of course, Pavano did beat the Tigers the last time he faced them. The last time the Indians visited Comerica Park, he held Detroit to two runs and five hits over 7.1 innings, earning his first win of the season. Pavano has also pitched pretty well lately, giving up two runs in each of his past two starts, with nine strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

Someone else pitching well in recent weeks is Armando Galarraga. He's won two of his past three starts, and was deprived of a win in his last outing when the Tigers' bullpen couldn't hold onto a slim one-run lead. (We are looking at you, Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney.) Before he left that game after seven innings, however, Galarraga gave up just one run and five hits, and struck out seven Royals batters. If he's finally regained the feel for his slider, Detroit's starting rotation suddenly looks much better.

But it didn't go so well for Galarraga the last time he faced the Tribe. In early May at Comerica Park, the Indians roughed him up for five runs in five innings (though the Tigers almost let him off the hook for a loss with an eighth-inning comeback that fell just short). Galarraga has a 3-1 record and 4.84 ERA in six career starts against Cleveland.