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Detroit looks to extend winning streak to eight over Cleveland

How quickly things can change in major league baseball.

On Tuesday of last week, the Cleveland Indians were riding high having won 6 of 7 games and passing the Detroit Tigers in the process to take over first place in the American League Central by a half game.

Fast forward five days and the Indians have lost four straight games, while the Tigers have won five straight and now the Indians trail the Tigers in the division race by 3 ½ games.

Today the two rivals faceoff for the third game of a four game series. This season the Tigers have dominated the head-to-head series with the Indians winning 7 straight against Cleveland.

Two players in particular have helped the Tigers in this series beat the Indians in the first two games. Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter are a combined 8 for 18 at the plate over the last two games.

On Saturday, Cabrera hit an early home run with a runner on base to knock in two runs. Hunter was just a single shy of hitting for the cycle in Detroit’s 9-4 win. Detroit has outscored Cleveland by 12 runs in just the first two games of this series.

This season Hunter is hitting .366 against the Indians with six RBIs, while Cabrera has hit 4 home runs and knocked in 12 runs in his 10 games versus the Tribe.

Late Saturday both Cabrera and Hunter were named to the American League All-Star team.

Detroit moved their division leading record to 48-38, while the Indians fell to 45-42.

Trying to stop the run of consecutive losses, the Indians will send Corey Kluber to the mound against the Tigers. The Indians’ right-hander is 6-5 this season with a 4.33 ERA.

Against Detroit, Kluber has lost his last three starts and over the past two, has given up 11 earned runs in 11 innings.

Detroit will send Doug Fister to the mound to face Cleveland in Sunday afternoon’s matchup. Fister is 6-5 this season with a 3.89 ERA. However, of late, the Detroit right-hander has struggled with a record of 0-1 and a 7.16 ERA over his past three times on the mound. Last season against Cleveland, Fister compiled a record of 2-1 and a 2.12 ERA over four starts.

For Cleveland Jason Kipnis was recently selected to the AL All-Stars and is hitting .353 (6 for 17) including two doubles versus Fister. The Indians’ second baseman saw his 16-game hitting streak as well as his 36 straight games of reaching base broken in Saturday’s defeat against Detroit.

Mark Reynolds has gone 0 for his last 20 from Cleveland in a six game span, but against Fister has 3 hits in his last 10 at bats including a home run.

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