After getting their first taste of victory in 10 days, the Cleveland Indians will try to start a winning streak as their four-game series at Detroit continues through the weekend.
The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory in the series opener on Thursday.
Zach Plesac(3-2, 2.20 ERA) will start Friday's game for the Indians. Plesac gave up five runs, including three home runs, in seven innings during an 8-4 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. The right-hander limited opponents to a combined two runs in his previous three starts, spanning 19 innings.
Control has been Plesac's calling card. He has issued just three walks while striking out 39 in 41 innings this season.
As a rookie last season, Plesac started twice against the Tigers and gave up just one run in 10 combined innings, going 1-0.
Jose Ramirez was the hitting star for the Indians (27-23) on Thursday, as he blasted two homers among four hits and four RBIs.
The two batters who follow him in the order have been scuffling.
Cleanup man Carlos Santana was 0-for-3 on Thursday, though he did draw two walks and score two runs. He's batting .152 with one homer in his last 18 games.
Franmil Reyes has batted .130 over the past 13 games, though he smacked a two-run single in the series opener.
"With both guys, we've seen stretches, and with Franmil in particular, where he was locked in and getting good pitches to hit and putting good swings on them," Indians president Chris Antonetti said. "Maybe that's been a little more inconsistent over the last eight to 10 days. But both guys are such an important part of our offense. They're both really good hitters.
"So I think it's just a matter of time until they get it figured out."
Right-hander Michael Fulmer (0-2, 9.27 ERA) gets the nod for Detroit (21-28) on Friday. He's been rocked for nine runs in his last two outings despite being on a three-inning limit. He surrendered five runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
"I just want to win for this team and bring this ballclub a 'W,' and right now I'm not able to do that and that's the frustrating part," Fulmer said that night. "I'm grateful to be healthy, to feel good, and the only frustrating part is the results. Until I start changing something, I'm not going to be satisfied."
He's 2-4 with a 7.46 ERA in 10 career starts against Cleveland.
Center fielder and leadoff hitter Victor Reyes went 0-for-3 on Thursday and has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats. His season average has dropped to .280 but manager Ron Gardenhire has no plans to sit Reyes.
"I've been almost forced to play him every day," Gardenhire said. "He's been one of our better hitters. He's struggling a bit right now, but it's not like he's totally missing up there. He's hit some balls hard. I think he's probably a little worn down right now and there's not a whole lot I can do about it. He's got to play. He's going to have to suck it up and get through it."
--Field Level Media