Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians kick off crucial series in Detroit

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Cleveland Indians start another three-game set in baseball’s most lopsided series since 2009

When the going gets tough…well, it gets tougher for the Cleveland Indians this season.

Losers of eight of their last 11 games, the Indians head to Detroit to face a team that they have little success against in recent history. The Tribe’s skid, which started when the Tigers swept them at home from April 10-12, has come despite the predictably outstanding starting pitching the Indians have received through 14 games this season.

Rotation newcomer Danny Salazar will take the hill for his second start of the season to kick off this crucial series for the Tribe. He was outstanding in his season debut, allowing just two earned runs in six innings of work against the Minnesota Twins. Salazar struck out 10 and surrendered just six hits on the evening, but he’ll be faced with a much tougher opponent tonight. Tigers hitters have batted a combined .320/.370/.480 against Salazar in his career, while lineup stalwart Miguel Cabrera has collected five hits in 13 at-bats.

Opposite Salazar, Shane Greene will start the series for the Tigers. He beat the Tribe in his one start against them last season while Greene was a member of the New York Yankees. Greene is off to a red-hot start, as he’s allowed just one run in 23 innings of work. While Michael Clair of MLB.com believes Greene’s hot start is no fluke, Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post can’t imagine him have continued success throughout the season.

No matter your belief, the Tribe will try to put a temporary hold on the young right-handers success tonight in Detroit.

Here are the starting lineups:

No changes to the Indians lineup tonight, but hot-hitting Ryan Raburn takes a seat with the right-handed pitcher on the mound. Raburn has been the Indians’ only source of offense over the last week, hitting .364 with a home run and seven RBIs.

News & Notes:

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Veteran switch-hitter Nick Swisher will begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Columbus tonight. He is batting second and playing right field against Louisville.

-Like the Indians, top prospect Francisco Lindor was off to a slow start in Triple-A Columbus. Over his last nine games, however, Lindor is hitting 9-for-33, including a 2-for-5 effort on Thursday night. He added a stolen base and a couple RBIs to an impressive stat line, ranking as one of the minors’ top performers for the evening.

Next: Tigers await struggling Indians in Detroit

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