Not only have the Tigers won 10 games in a row, they've extended their lead over the Indians in the American League Central to five games. Doug Fister, who has traditionally been dominant after the All-Star break, will have a chance to continue Detroit's streak on Wednesday.
Fister went 8-4 with a 2.67 ERA in the second half last year, and 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA over the same timeframe in 2011. This year he's headed in the same direction, with a 3-0 record and 0.82 ERA post-Midsummer Classic. In his most recent start, against the White Sox, he allowed one run on seven hits in eight innings.
"It's the same focus, same pregame workouts, everything that we've done all year," Fister said. "I'm just trying to be as consistent as possible from Day One, its just things are falling our way right now."
The Indians are hoping that highly touted prospect Danny Salazar can stop the Tigers' momentum. Salazar has made one career start, on July 11, when he allowed one run on two hits in six innings while striking out seven against the Blue Jays.
Indians manager Terry Francona said that there may be a sense of urgency in this four-game set by bringing up Salazar from Triple-A Columbus.
"Maybe a little bit," Francona said. "He has been pitching very well, so competitively it should help us. Our player-development staff has done such a good job where now we can bring him up, he doesn't have to pitch [only] three or four innings, and we don't have to go to the bullpen."
His arrival might be coming at an even more opportune time, as Cleveland placed right-hander Corey Kluber on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a sprained finger on his throwing hand.
Indians: Tomlin working on return
Right-hander Josh Tomlin will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery with a start for Double-A Akron on Wednesday.
Tomlin will pitch two innings or 35 pitches, whichever comes first. He is being built up as a starter but noted that he can always transition to the bullpen if necessary. The Indians hope Tomlin can return to the team later this month or in early September.
"He's doing really well," Francona said. "It seems like everybody in that room is pulling for him. That's kind of neat. It'll be nice to have him back. When he gets back, it'll be nice to have him around, because I know the guys enjoy the heck out of him."
Tomlin went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances (16 starts) last year
• The Indians recalled right-handed reliever Matt Langwell from Triple-A Columbus to fill Kluber's spot on the active roster. Langwell has allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen while striking out six this year.
Tigers: Dotel ready for rehab assignment
Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel will begin a Minor League rehab stint for the Tigers' Gulf Coast League team on Wednesday.
Dotel allowed seven runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings in April before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.
By rule, Dotel can rehab in the Minors for up to 30 days, which would allow the Tigers to wait until rosters expand on Sept. 1 to activate him and not have to send anybody down to make room. Dotel will be eligible for the postseason roster because he was on the 25-man roster in April.
• Serving as designated hitter, Omar Infante went 1-for-5 with a strikeout on Tuesday night in his first rehab game at Triple-A Toledo. He's expected to play seven innings at second base on Wednesday.
• Michael Brantley is 9-for 28 with two home runs and five RBIs in his career against Fister.
• Miguel Cabrera is batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBIs at Progressive Field this season.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.