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This week in baseball: Cubs seek Blackhawks' karma

Tigers to flood field for All-Star Game

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 5:51 pm

After being perfect hosts for two days, Cleveland turned inhospitable toward Detroit on Sunday.

The Indians were outscored 16-4 in the first two games of the series, but the Tribe exacted a bit of revenge Sunday by defeating the defending American League champions 9-6 after blowing a 6-1 lead.

Cleveland leads the American League in wild pitches, and its bullpen is struggling so far this season, but Michael Brantley's 8th-inning homer saved Cleveland on this day.

Cleveland's Jason Kipnis was named American League Player of the Month for June, and he deserved it. He had 12 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs, 30 hits, and had a 16-game hitting streak. He always seemed to be in the middle of a rally for the Tribe.

But Detroit came to town and romped to two big wins to lengthen the Tigers' lead in the American League Central. The Tigers even stopped Kipnis' hitting streak and his 37-game-reached-base streak, too, on Saturday.

Despite the Tigers pounding former northeast Indiana resident Justin Masterson on Friday, he and Kipnis each made the American League All-Star Team.

The Tigers and Indians have one more game today, as Max Scherzer tries to go to 14-0 to end the four-game set.

The Tribe hosts Toronto Tuesday through Thursday, before hosting Kansas City this weekend for three games. Given how the Indians played against Detroit, this home-stand can't get worse than it started!

ChiSox hit the road

The White Sox face the Tigers for the first time this season with three road games Tuesday through Thursday, before traveling to Philadelphia for three games this weekend.

Scheduling quirks aside, the ChiSox will have two players in the upcoming All-Star Game, reliever Jesse Crain and starter Chris Sale. In addition, Chicago manager Robin Ventura will be one of American League manager Jim Leyland's coaches.

Detroit is seeing 'stars'

After their long, but successful road trip ended Sunday, the Tigers host the White Sox and the Rangers for three games each this week.

As befits the defending American League champions, Detroit has the most All-Stars of anybody. Elected by fans were starters Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, while (ex-Fort Wayne Wizard) Torii Hunter, pitchers Scherzer and Justin Verlander, as well as ex-Indian Jhonny Peralta, were each chosen by Detroit manager Leyland.

Cubs in search of karma

The Cubs will travel across town to U.S. Cellular Field for a makeup game at 7:05 p.m. today against the White Sox, before hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a three-game series, followed by a series with division rival St. Louis this weekend.

Chicago allowed the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks (2013 Stanley Cup champions) to take batting practice at Wrigley Field recently, perhaps to receive some good karma. But for now, the Cubs are only winning a battle for fourth place with Milwaukee in the National League Central Division. Cincinnati and St. Louis narrowly trail Pittsburgh (not a typo) for first place.

Chicago pitcher Travis Wood started his year in Class AAA Iowa, but the left-hander earned the only Cubs' All-Star spot with his 16 “quality” starts and 2.58 ERA.

Reds to represent in All-Star Game

The Reds will travel to Milwaukee today through Wednesday, before ending the season's unofficial first half in Atlanta for four games this weekend.

Cincinnati's All-Stars will include Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, who were each elected by the fans, while reliever Aroldis Chapman was selected by National League skipper Bruce Bochy.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Rick Rimelspach at rrimelspach@news-sentinel.com.