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News » Indians-Tigers Preview 2009-04-30

Indians-Tigers Preview 2009-04-30

Indians-Tigers Preview 2009-04-30
Armando Galarraga is showing that last season's success with the Detroit Tigers wasn't a fluke.

Galarraga looks to improve to 4-0 on Friday when the Tigers will try to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a three-game set at Comerica Park.

Galarraga (3-0, 1.85 ERA) led Detroit (11-10) with 13 wins last season after pitching in just three games with Texas in 2007. The right-hander has gotten off to another strong start, especially at home, where he has won both of his starts while allowing just one run in 13 1-3 innings.

Galarraga pitched six innings at Kansas City on Sunday, allowing one run and three hits in a 3-2 win. He struck out seven, but walked five and said afterward that he planned on adjusting his mechanics.

He is looking to end a string of bad pitching performances by Tigers starters against the Indians (8-14). Detroit's rotation went 0-5 with a 7.39 ERA in the final seven games - all losses - of last season's series. Galarraga faced Cleveland twice during that losing stretch but did not receive a decision in either outing. He is 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Indians.

The Tigers lost the final two of a three-game set with the New York Yankees this week, including an 8-6 defeat Wednesday. Detroit batted just .191 during the series, but manager Jim Leyland told the Tigers' official Web site he wasn't concerned.

"They'll hit. They always have," Leyland said.

The Indians have their own offensive worries. They placed slugger Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sore right shoulder. Hafner, who had surgery on the shoulder last October, is batting .270 with four homers and eight RBIs in 17 games.

"We want to have the best lineup out there we can (for the rest of the season)," manager Eric Wedge said. "If that means we have to do this now for the next couple of weeks and have him for the next 4 1/2 months after that, I'll take it."

The loss of Hafner is merely the latest problem in a tough spring for the Indians. Cleveland lost two of three against Boston this week, and squandered a five-run lead en route to a 6-5 defeat in 10 innings Wednesday.

"We made some mistakes, but our fight and overall persona was better," Wedge told the Indians' official Web site. "We're still working to make sure everything gets aligned, but we gave them everything they could handle in all three ballgames."

Indians relievers have four blown saves, but that's not the only issue for a pitching staff that's compiled a 5.81 ERA. The starting rotation has also struggled, with free-agent signee Carl Pavano (0-3, 9.50) one of the worst offenders.

Pavano is winless in four starts with Cleveland. Coming off his best outing of the season - one run and four hits allowed in six innings against the Yankees on April 19 - Pavano struggled Saturday against Minnesota, allowing five runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 7-1 loss.

The right-hander has never faced the Tigers.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009

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