Fausto Carmona (3-9, 6.20) vs. Nate Robertson (1-1, 6.84), 1:05 p.m. EST
The Tigers go for a sweep this afternoon at Comerica Park. A win today would also include the added bonus of gaining a 1/2-game on the Twins in the AL Central.
Fausto Carmona had put a decent five-game streak together for the Indians, allowing two runs or fewer in four of those starts. It unraveled a bit in his last outing, however, as the Orioles rocked him for six runs and nine hits in less than five innings. But Carmona's fellow sinkerballer, Aaron Laffey, pitched quite well against the Tigers last night, so if he has that pitch working, he could be successful. Unless Detroit continues the strategy of hitting the ball to Jhonny Peralta, which was their best offensive play last night.
Last time Carmona faced the Tigers, he held them to two runs and four hits over five innings. (Though he also walked five batters.) In two starts versus Detroit, he's allowed four runs in 11.2 innings with 10 walks.
Nate Robertson pitched well enough to win last Saturday (although his four innings wouldn't have been enough for a decision). He allowed just one earned run and four hits to the Rays, but the Tigers' lineup had no answer for David Price and couldn't supply any offense. Regardless, the effort was good enough to earn at least one more start. And if Robertson has three pitches working like he did versus Tampa Bay, he could do well today.
In a three-inning relief appearance earlier this season against Cleveland, Robertson allowed one run and three hits. His career record versus the Tribe is 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA in 17 games.
Jim Leyland has a lefty-heavy lineup ready to face Carmona. Placido Polanco, Magglio Ordonez, and Gerald Laird get the day off. Aubrey Huff, Clete Thomas, and Alex Avila are back in there.