DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers (53-39) were well on their way to a victory to open the second half Friday before the Cleveland Indians (48-47) exploded for seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the first of a four-game series in Detroit.
On Saturday, the Tigers will have a chance to tie the series in the afternoon and take a 2-1 lead at night as the team plays its first double header of the season. The afternoon game is a makeup from the rainout on April 15.
TV (Game 1): 1:08 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), FSN (Detroit)
Detroit will send out rookie starter Drew VerHagen to make his Major League debut in the first game. VerHagen posted a 6-7 record and 3.67 ERA in 19 games with the Toledo Mud Hens before being chosen for the spot start.
VerHagen will battle Cleveland's top starting pitcher, right-handed Corey Kluber. Kluber was snubbed from the All-Star game despite having nine wins, 142 strikeouts and a 3.01 ERA. He allowed five runs in 14 innings against the Tigers in two first-half starts, earning a no-decision and a loss.
TV (Game 2): 7:08 p.m. ET, FS1
In the nightcap, Max Scherzer will lead Detroit after picking up the victory for the American League in Tuesday's All-Star game. Scherzer beat the Indians on June 22, but surrendered seven runs to them on May 21. He owns an 11-3 record, 3.35 ERA and 146 strikeouts through 19 starts.
Cleveland will counter with struggling righty Zach McAllister, looking for his first win since April 21. McAllister missed the entire month of June after posting a 10.67 ERA in four May starts, including a two-inning effort against the Tigers. The 26-year-old owns a 5.63 ERA overall.
The AL Central rivals will finish the series on Sunday afternoon before Detroit flies to Arizona to kick off a seven-game road trip.