|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 14, 2018
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio Attendance: 26,952
Indians work on postseason lineup against Tigers
Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
- The Indians have won 10 consecutive home games against the Tigers, tied for the longest-active home winning streak by any team against any opponent (Blue Jays -- 10 straight home wins vs, Orioles).
- During this stretch of 10 games, Cleveland has outscored Detroit 62-11, thanks in large part to hitting 17 home runs compared to just one for Detroit. The one home run by a Tiger was by current-Indian Leonys Martin on April 11 against Carlos Carrasco.
- Jose Ramirez snapped a 23-game homerless streak in Cleveland's most recent game on Wednesday. Since 2017, Ramirez is slashing .393/.503/.855 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI in 34 games against Detroit.
- Matthew Boyd posted a career-high 11 strikeouts in his latest start, needing only 98 pitches to do so. Boyd has a 3.05 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) against the Indians in his career, although he surrendered six earned runs in 3.0 innings in his most recent start against Cleveland on June 24.
- Josh Tomlin will make his first start since being demoted to the bullpen after his start on May 15. Tomlin's average of 3.56 home runs allowed per nine innings this season would be the highest ever by any pitcher who has thrown at least 50 innings in a season.
- In September, the Tigers rank fourth in MLB with a 2.97 ERA and first with a .188 opponent batting average. This is after ranking 25th in both of those categories in August (5.27 ERA and .275 opponent batting average).
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians, who are in full-blown postseason preparation mode, will host the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at Progressive Field, the first game of Cleveland's final homestand of the regular season.
The Indians' magic number for clinching their third consecutive American League Central title is three. With that in mind, Indians manager Terry Francona and his staff are implementing some lineup adjustments in preparation for the postseason.
The most obvious is the addition of third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto. He made his debut with the Indians on Tuesday in Tampa Bay, batting fifth and going 0-for-4.
Donaldson is expected to be in the lineup Friday at third base. His addition has moved third baseman Jose Ramirez to second base, bumping second baseman Jason Kipnis to center field.
For Ramirez, the position switch comes at a time when he's trying to hit his way out of his first slump of the season. After a spectacular first half of the season that landed him a start at third base for the American League all-star team, Ramirez has been in an extended slump.
From opening day through the end of July, Ramirez was hitting .298, with a 1.038 OPS. Since Aug. 1, he is hitting .228 with a .763 OPS.
In Cleveland's 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, Ramirez, who is third in the American League with 38 home runs, snapped an 86-at bat homerless streak with a homer off Rays ace Nate Snell.
Francona says he isn't worried about his MVP candidate's slump.
"We've all seen what he can do. We know it's in there, and we know he's going to get hot," Francona said. "He's an extremely intelligent hitter when it comes to knowing how teams are pitching him, and what they're trying to do. He's had a little lull here, but he can hit any pitch. He's going to be fine."
Cleveland's starting pitcher Friday night also reflects the team's priority of getting the rotation lined up for the start of the postseason. Because of that, Josh Tomlin (1-5, 6.63 ERA) will get a spot start.
Tomlin, who won 23 games as a member of the rotation the last two years, made six disastrous starts to begin the 2018 season and was quickly moved to the bullpen. In three starts, Tomlin was 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA. In 22 relief appearances, he is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA.
Friday will be Tomlin's first start since May 15, when he took the loss as Cleveland fell 9-8 to Detroit. In that game, Tomlin gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, with four strikeouts and no walks.
In four appearances (two starts) against Detroit this year, Tomlin has no record and a 2.92 ERA. In 20 career appearances (14 starts) against the Tigers, he is 7-6 with a 4.87 ERA.
Left-hander Matt Boyd will start for Detroit. Boyd (9-12, 4.11) made his last start on Sept. 8, when he got no decision in a 4-3 Detroit loss to St. Louis. In that start Boyd was outstanding, working seven innings and allowing one run and two hits, with 11 strikeouts and one walk.
In two starts against Cleveland this year, Boyd is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA. In his career, he has made seven appearances (six starts) against the Indians and is 1-3 with a 3.05 ERA.
The Tigers, who come into Friday's game on a four-game losing streak, are 4-12 vs. the Indians this year.
Updated September 13, 2018