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Game 135 Preview: Indians at Tigers

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Aug 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Cleveland Indians (57-78) at Detroit Tigers (72-62)

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Let's Go Tribe

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: RHP Justin Masterson (10-12, 4.91 ERA) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (9-10, 4.57 ERA)

Masterson has two starts against the Tigers this season. In the first one, he was dominant, out-dueling Justin Verlander for 7 innings in a 2-1 Indians win on May 24th. In the second one, he was ambushed by the Tigers offense, allowing 7 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings. Needless to say, the Tigers came away victorious in this game. Masterson has been just as hit-or-miss since then, allowing three runs in three victories and 15 runs in two losses since his last start against Detroit. The Justin Masterson that shows up today will likely decide the outcome of this game.

In his last three starts, Porcello has allowed a 3.71 ERA with 16 strikeouts to just 4 walks in 17 innings of work. He is 0-3 in these three outings thanks to a combined 4 runs of support from the Tigers offense in those games. This comes on the heels of a two month stretch in which Rick was getting 7-8 runs with regularity. Porcello only has one start against the Indians this season, a 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER outing on May 22nd.

Outlook

With the letdown game behind them and the White Sox in front of them, there is zero margin for error left for these Tigers. Masterson has been downright horrible at Comerica Park throughout his career and is showing no reasons why this trend should reverse itself today. He may improve, but not enough to carry the Indians to victory.

Prediction

Porcello become the third Tigers pitcher to win 10 games this season with another quality start.