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A capsule look at Tigers-Yankees playoff series

A capsule look at Tigers-Yankees playoff series

A look at the best-of-seven American League championship series between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees:

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Schedule: (All times EDT)

Game 1, Saturday, at New York (8:07 p.m.); Game 2, Sunday, at New York (4:07 p.m.); Game 3, Tuesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); Game 4, Wednesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 5, Thursday, at Detroit (4:07 p.m.); x-Game 6, Saturday, at New York (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 7, Sunday, at New York (8:15 p.m.).

x-if necessary.

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Season Series: Yankees won 6-4.

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Projected Lineups:

Tigers: CF Austin Jackson (.300, 16, 66, 10 triples), LF Quintin Berry (.258, 2, 29, 21/21 SBs), 3B Miguel Cabrera (.330, 44, 139 for baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967), 1B Prince Fielder (.313, 30, 108), DH Delmon Young (.267, 18, 74), RF Andy Dirks (.322, 8, 35), SS Jhonny Peralta (.239, 13, 63), C Alex Avila (.243, 9, 48), 2B Omar Infante (.274, 12, 53 with Marlins and Tigers).

Yankees: SS Derek Jeter (.316, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs, 99 runs, MLB-best 216 hits), LF Ichiro Suzuki (.283, 9, 55, 29 SBs with Mariners and Yankees), 1B Mark Teixeira (.251, 24, 84), 2B Robinson Cano (.313, 33, 94, 48 doubles, 105 runs), DH Raul Ibanez (.240, 19, 62), RF Nick Swisher (.272, 24, 93), CF Curtis Granderson (.232, 43, 106, 195 Ks), C Russell Martin (.211, 21, 53), 3B Eric Chavez (.281, 16, 37 in 278 at-bats) or 3B Alex Rodriguez (.272, 18, 57).

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Projected Rotations:

Tigers: RH Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45), RH Anibal Sanchez (9-13, 3.86 with Marlins and Tigers), RH Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64, ML-leading 239 Ks), RH Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74, 231 Ks).

Yankees: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 in 12 starts), RHP Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32, 219 2-3 IP), RHP Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23, 191 1-3 IP), LH CC Sabathia (15-6, 3.38 ERA, 200 IP, 197 Ks).

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Relievers:

Tigers: RH Jose Valverde (3-4, 3.78, 35/40 saves), RH Joaquin Benoit (5-3, 3.68, 84 Ks, 71 IP), RH Octavio Dotel (5-3, 3.57), RH Al Alburquerque (0-0, 0.68 in 8 games following elbow surgery), LH Phil Coke (2-3, 4.00), LH Drew Smyly (4-3, 3.99 in 23 games, 18 starts), RH Rick Porcello (10-12, 4.59 in 31 starts), RH Brayan Villarreal (3-5, 2.63, 66 Ks, 54 2-3 IP).

Yankees: RH Rafael Soriano (2-1, 2.26, 42/46 saves), RH David Robertson (2-7, 2.67, 2 saves, 81 Ks in 60 2-3 IP), LH Boone Logan (7-2, 3.74, 1 save, AL-high 80 games), RH Joba Chamberlain (1-0, 4.35 in 22 games), RH David Phelps (4-4, 3.34 in 33 games, 11 starts), RH Derek Lowe (9-11, 5.11, 1 save in 38 games, 21 starts with Indians and Yankees), LH Clay Rapada (3-0, 2.82 in 70 games, 38 1-3 IP), RH Cody Eppley (1-2, 3.33 in 59 games).

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Matchups:

The Tigers beat the Yankees in the division series in 2006 and last year; no team has ever beaten the Yankees in three consecutive postseason series. ... New York acquired Granderson from Detroit in a three-team trade after the 2009 season. The Tigers received Jackson and Coke from New York and Scherzer from Arizona. ... In seven starts against the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 - playoffs included - Verlander is 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA. ... Coke was fairly effective against left-handed batters during the regular season, but righties hit .396 off him. Smyly and Porcello - both part of the rotation at the start of the season - were left on the postseason roster for the division series at Villarreal's expense. ... Sabathia was 3-0 in three starts with 20 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings against Detroit this season. The Tigers hits .238 against them. ... The Yankees won two of three in New York in April and two of three in Detroit in June before the teams split four games at Comerica in August. ... The two players who should benefit most from Rodriguez's benching, have divergent experiences against Verlander: Chavez is 9 for 25 (.360). Division series star Ibanez has only three hits in 29 at-bats for a .103 average.

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Big Picture:

Tigers: It wasn't as easy as many expected, but Detroit (88-74) wrested the AL Central title from the fading Chicago White Sox and beat Oakland in the division series to reach the ALCS for the second year in a row. The Tigers lost to Texas in six games last season. ... Detroit is in the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35. ... Cabrera's charge to the Triple Crown began in earnest on Aug. 1. He hit .344 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs in 57 games for the rest of the regular season. ... Verlander threw a career-high six complete games and is in contention for a second straight Cy Young Award. His four-hit shutout finished the Athletics in a winner-take-all Game 5. ... Scherzer was slowed by a shoulder problem in late September, but he pitched into the sixth inning without allowing an earned run in his only start of the division series. ... The Tigers grounded into a major league-leading 156 double plays. They stole 59 bases, the second-fewest in the majors. ... Detroit manager Jim Leyland is making his seventh postseason appearance. ... The Tigers signed Fielder last winter after slugger Victor Martinez's season-ending knee injury. ... After going all of 2011 without blowing a save, Valverde was a more pedestrian 35 for 40 this season. ... Benoit's 3.68 ERA was his highest since 2008. He allowed 14 homers, his most since he became exclusively a reliever. ... The Tigers had four regulars with an OPS of at least .856 in the regular season - Cabrera, Fielder, Dirks and Jackson. Then it was a substantial drop to Avila at .736. ... Backup catcher Gerald Laird provided a lift by hitting .282 in 63 games. ... Detroit finished sixth in the AL in runs. The Tigers were 10th in homers - with Cabrera and Fielder accounting for more than 45 percent of the team's total of 163. ... Young was arrested in New York in April on a hate-crime harassment charge. He was accused of yelling anti-Jewish epithets at a group of tourists, tussling with them and tackling one to the ground.

Yankees: This was no walk in Monument Park. The Yankees, who went 19-8 down the stretch, finished two games ahead of Baltimore for their 13th division crown in 17 years, earning home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. They then needed five games to eliminate the Orioles, hitting just .211 with 47 Ks in their series. Now they'll try to advance to the World Series against one of baseball's best staffs. ... The aging Yankees (95-67) looked old and tired at times throughout a mediocre second half. Rodriguez's hitting woes carried over into the postseason and he was pinch hit for twice and he didn't play in Game 5. ... Injuries took their toll, too. In addition to A-Rod and Mariano Rivera, Sabathia had two stints on the disabled list, Pettitte missed nearly three months with a broken ankle and speedy LF Brett Gardner (elbow) sat out almost the entire season. Teixeira (calf) was sidelined for all but one game between Aug. 28 and Sept. 30, so he and Rodriguez were in the lineup together only once during August and September. Teixeira returned in time for the Boston series and New York now has its thunder back in the middle of a powerful lineup. Cano ended the season on a torrid hitting streak and the Bronx Bombers led the majors with a club-record 245 home runs. They often struggled with runners in scoring position, though, and were criticized for being too reliant on the long ball. New York was 0-58 when trailing after eight innings before a big comeback in the penultimate game of the season. It was a lack of clutch hitting that cost the Yankees in their division series loss to Detroit last year. ... Jeter did an excellent job setting the table all season and Suzuki, also 38, provided strong defense and a much-needed stolen-base threat after he was obtained in late July. Seeking his first trip to the World Series, Suzuki even hit his way up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup against right-handers with a late surge. ... Many of the biggest hits all season came from the 40-year-old Ibanez. ... Sabathia didn't have his best season but was dominant against the Orioles in the first round. The rest of the rotation is a question mark. Back in the playoffs after a one-year retirement, Pettitte is baseball's career leader in postseason wins (19) and starts (43). Can he still be clutch at age 40 after only 12 regular-season outings? Kuroda was strong and dependable during his first year with New York, but he piled up plenty of innings and struggled in September before throwing well in the season finale. ... Even without Rivera, there are late-inning answers and effective specialists in the capable bullpen. Girardi added Eppley to the championship series roster and removed Eduardo Nunez. With Detroit using four righty starters, Nunez would have seen little playing time.

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Watch For:

- Sit Rod. Rodriguez was benched for Game 5 in the division series after being pinch hit for in each of the previous two games. Will he become a distraction the more he sits? And he will. A-Rod was 2 for 16 with nine strikeouts against Baltimore, looking fooled by breaking pitches and hardly able to catch up to fastballs. The Tigers have four right-handers so he may be relegated to a pinch-hitter role.

- Missing Mo. This marks the Yankees' 17th playoff appearance in 18 years - but the first one during that stretch without Rivera in the bullpen. The career saves leader and postseason stalwart tore a knee ligament while shagging flies in early May. Soriano stepped in and did a fantastic job, but now the pressure on him intensifies. All it takes is one blown save in October, especially when you're replacing Mr. Automatic.

Grandy Can, Can He? Granderson homered in his last at-bat of the division series but was 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts before Game 5. Girardi has been batting his slugger eighth but he'll need to produce more like a middle of the order player for the Yankees to win.

- Starting Strong: Detroit's rotation went 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in the division series, enabling the Tigers to advance despite a relatively quiet showing from Cabrera and Fielder. Detroit's pitchers can strike out a lot of hitters, which is important since the Tigers haven't been good defensively.

- Bullpen Blues?: Valverde and Benoit have been a lot shakier than they were a year ago, and that's a potential concern for the Tigers. Benoit allowed a big home run in Game 2 of the ALDS, and Valverde blew a lead in Detroit's Game 4 loss.

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Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

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USA TODAY Sports

Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays have to wait at least one more day before taking their swings against former teammate Alex Cobb.

Cobb, now with the Baltimore Orioles, was scheduled to face his old team on Tuesday night before the game was postponed by rain.

Thus, Cobb will start Wednesday in the delayed start of this series between the only two AL East teams with losing records.

The rainout will be made up as part of single-admission doubleheader on May 12.

It was the 27th major league game to be postponed this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner's office started keeping records in 1986. Detroit's game at Pittsburgh was washed out later Tuesday, raising the total to 28.

Cobb, 30, spent his entire career with the Rays before signing with Baltimore as a free agent on March 21. Over six years with Tampa Bay, the right-hander was 48-35 and one of the leaders of the staff.

"He was a crucial part to this organization's success," Rays starter Chris Archer said. "He's a big-game pitcher and somebody who's very consistent, very routine oriented. The competitive nature rubbed off on me and rubbed off on the other guys in this clubhouse as well."

Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, who will be counting on him to deliver the same kind of pitching and leadership in Baltimore.

Thus far, it hasn't gone well. Cobb got off to a late start because he missed most of spring training, and since his return he's gone 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA.

"Abbreviation has affected that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to get going here. Hopefully he can wait one more start before he does."

Brad Miller was down to bat cleanup for the Rays on Tuesday night before the game was called. Miller knew better than to chat with his old friend beforehand.

"Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days," Miller said. "Thought about maybe texting him just to rattle him a little bit, but ... ."

Miller won't know what to think when he sees Cobb wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"It's definitely going to be weird seeing him on the mound," Miller said. "I miss Cobb a lot. He was the ultimate competitor."

And that, Miller contends, is what sets Cobb apart from most pitchers.

"He's a bulldog. Really intense, kind of an old-school throwback starting pitcher," Miller said. "He's going to go out there and do anything he can for his team. So that, for me, is obviously his biggest trait."

The rainout came at an opportune time for the Orioles, who are hampered by injuries and have lost nine of 10 games to fall 11 games under .500 (6-17).

Baltimore's projected starting lineup did not include infielder Tim Beckham, who's been bothered by a groin injury and is expected to land on the 10-day disabled list.

With Beckham out and Trey Mancini playing with a tender right knee, manager Buck Showalter would have been operating with a short bench.

Help is on the way: Baltimore claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson on waivers from the New York Yankees. He's expected to arrive Wednesday.

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Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

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USA TODAY Sports

Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.

Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.

"When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it," Ramirez said through a translator. "I know eventually I'm going to break out."

Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

"I try not to do too much," Ramirez said. "I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere."

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Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings."

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians' career strikeout list with 1,238.

"It doesn't matter if you feel you pitched well or didn't pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do," Kluber said. "That's what we did."

Machado's third multihomer game of the season wasn't enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

"You know what? There's no excuse for what's happening," Machado said. "We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together."

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He's 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

"Once you get the lead, you can't give it up," Cashner lamented.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. ... DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won't be rushed to return. "It's important we get it right the first time," Showalter said.

WELL RESTED

Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin's last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.

UP NEXT

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits -- including six homers -- over 21 innings.

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