The Cleveland Guardians are holding their collective breath as the Detroit Tigers come to town for a three-game series that starts Friday.
All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez could be forced to the sideline after fouling a pitch off his right shin in Thursday’s game. He stayed in the game and drove in his 34th RBI of the season (second-most in the American League) later in the at-bat with a single to right. Ramirez was replaced by Ernie Clement after he limped to first base.
“He’s pretty sore,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “It hit above the pad (on his leg), just below his knee. He’ll get some X-rays.”
Ramirez is batting .328 with 22 homers, 32 doubles and 84 RBIs in 110 career games against the Tigers.
Cleveland right-hander Aaron Civale has been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2022 season for the Guardians. He will be on the mound Friday, checking in with a 1-3 record and an inflated 9.85 ERA in six starts.
Civale, 26, was one of the Guardians’ best pitchers last year when he compiled a 12-5 record with a 3.84 ERA in 21 starts.
Cleveland pitching coach Carl Willis said he believes the 6-2, 215-pounder is starting to turn the corner.
“He continues to battle,” Willis said of Civale. “He doesn’t give in. He keeps competing.”
Perhaps the Tigers are a welcomed sight for Civale. He’s 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA in seven career starts against Detroit. He’s allowed 12 earned runs and struck out 36 batters in 49 1/3 innings.
Civale will oppose Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.50), who has never beaten the Guardians. He is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland, including 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in two starts at Progressive Field.
It might not matter who the Guardians play right now with the way they are swinging the bats. Cleveland has lost five of its last six games. In losing a two-game sweep against Cincinnati, the Guardians managed just eight hits and six runs.
The Tigers have won four of their last six games. They will face the Guardians for the first time this season.
Cleveland has been one of the most troublesome foes of the Tigers over the last several seasons. Dating back to the start of 2016, Detroit has gone just 27-77 against the Guardians, including a 12-38 record on the road. The Tigers posted a 7-12 record against Cleveland last season, marking their best win percentage (.368) in the season series since going 11-7 in 2015.
Detroit designated hitter Miguel Cabrera had one hit Monday at Tampa Bay and now has 3,021 in his career, passing Rafael Palmeiro for sole possession of 29th place in major league history. He is two hits shy of tying Hall of Famer Lou Brock (3,023) for 28th.
Cabrera hit his third home run of the season and 505th of his career Sunday against Baltimore, breaking a tie with former Cleveland star Eddie Murray for 27th in MLB history. He recorded the 602nd double of his career on Friday vs. Baltimore, passing Barry Bonds for 17th place on the all-time list.
–Field Level Media