Indians-Tigers Preview

Making the Cleveland Indians pay for pitching around Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez helped the Detroit Tigers snap their longest skid since August and even the series with their AL Central rivals.

Martinez could find himself in a similar position Sunday given how well Cabrera has handled Carlos Carrasco, who will try to reverse his fortune at Comerica Park - the only place he's struggled of late.

Cabrera entered Saturday 12 for 18 with two home runs against the Indians (6-10), who chose to walk the slugger four times - three intentional - in Saturday's 4-1 defeat.

Martinez followed up two of those free passes with singles and knocked in three runs as Detroit (12-6) went 4 for 12 with runners in scoring position to halt a four-game losing streak. Rajai Davis added two hits and scored three runs.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona must now decide whether to pitch to Cabrera on Sunday with the two-time AL MVP going 5 for 11 with a home run and double off Carrasco since the start of the 2013 season.

Cabrera is also batting .457 with 16 RBIs in 24 games against the Indians over the past two seasons.

"He's an unusual hitter,'' Francona said.

Carrasco (2-1, 2.38 ERA), meanwhile, hopes to rediscover his groove after his last two starts ended in unfortunate fashion.

The right-hander left in the fifth inning of Tuesday's 6-2 road win over the Chicago White Sox because he was "tight" in the cold weather. In his previous outing April 14, he sustained a bruised jaw after getting hit in the face with a first-inning comebacker.

"He came in (Wednesday) morning and said he felt really good," Francona told MLB's official website. "I don't think that (trainer James Quinlan) thinks there's anything (wrong). Maybe I overreacted."

Carrasco has the league's lowest ERA (1.46) since Aug. 10 among those with at least five starts. However, the only time he allowed more than two runs during that stretch was when he gave up four over 6 1-3 innings in a 7-2 loss at Detroit on Sept. 12.

Carrasco is 1-5 with an 8.18 ERA in seven starts against the Tigers. He's also 0-3 with a 10.80 mark in three at Comerica.

Detroit's Kyle Lobstein (1-1, 3.27) will make his third start in place of the injured Justin Verlander after giving up one run and three hits while scattering four walks in Tuesday's 5-2 home loss to the New York Yankees.

"I'd like to throw more strikes than that, try to get deeper in the game," the left-hander said.

Lobstein allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings in Detroit's 8-5 win at Progressive Field on April 12. He's 1-0 with a 5.28 ERA in three starts versus Cleveland since last September.

Although they had some success in the first meeting against Lobstein, the lefty-heavy Indians are batting just .211 with two home runs in 209 at-bats versus left-handers this season.

Carlos Santana is 3 for 7 with a home run when facing Lobstein, while Michael Brantley is 2 for 5 with a homer. Brantley is 13 for 20 in his last five games at Comerica after going 4 for 4 with two doubles Saturday.

Detroit's Ian Kinsler went 2 for 4 on Saturday and is batting .411 over a 13-game hitting streak against the Indians.

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