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AL Central battle highlight schedule

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago July 05, 2013 Jul 5, 2013 Friday, July 05 2013 July 05, 2013 9:26 AM in Sports
Source: Associated Press

UNDATED - A weekend showdown between the top two teams in the AL Central gets underway tonight in Cleveland where the Tigers are visiting. Detroit has won three in a row to help take a game-and-a-half lead over the Indians.

Justin Masterson gets the nod for the home team, trying to become the fourth 11-game winner in the American League. The Indians right-hander is coming off his major league leading third shutout.

The Tigers are hoping to have Miguel Cabrera back in the line-up after he took yesterday off with a sore back. The defending Triple Crown winner is leading the majors with a .364 batting average and 85 RBIs.

A just completed 8-1 homestand has launched the Red Sox into a three-city, 10-game road trip starting in Anaheim tonight against the Angels. Boston has won four in a row to widen its lead at the top of the AL East to four-and-a-half games over Baltimore. The Angels have C.J. Wilson scheduled to start. He's won four straight.

The Orioles open up a series in New York against the Yankees, who are just a game-and-a-half back of Baltimore in the AL East. Baltimore has scheduled Miguel Gonzalez to start. He's won four in a row. The Yankees begin a 10-game homestand coming off a four-game sweep in Minnesota.

In the National League, the top two teams in the tight West division race square off tonight in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks hold a two-and-a-half game lead over Colorado starting tonight's play. In fact, just four-and-a-half games separate the Diamondbacks from the basement-dwelling Giants in the division. One of the big challenges for Arizona's pitchers will be cooling off Colorado's Michael Cuddyer, who's hit safely in 29 of his last 30 games.

San Francisco opens a home series with the arch-rival Dodgers, who have won eight of their last ten to continue their climb up the division standings. They're just three-and-a-half back. The Dodgers have gotten a boost from the play of Yasiel Puig who is hitting .430 with eight homers since his debut June 3.

Cliff Lee will try to get back on track after suffering his first loss in 11 starts last time out. He gets the start for Philadelphia tonight in a series-opener at home against NL East-leading Atlanta.

There are 15 games on the major league schedule.

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