If the Cleveland Indians are to again overtake Detroit atop the AL Central, they'll need Justin Masterson to continue his home success and help end their recent struggles against the Tigers.
Masterson and the Indians look to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat to the visiting Tigers, who'll try to win their fourth straight in the opener of a key four-game set Friday night.
Detroit (46-38) has won six of eight versus Cleveland this season, and swept a three-game home set June 7-9 to increase its division lead to 5 1/2 games over the Indians at the time.
Since then, the Indians (45-40) have won 15 of 23 while the Tigers are 11-12. Cleveland held a one-half game division lead over Detroit on Tuesday, but is currently 1 1/2 after losing two straight at Kansas City to conclude a 7-4 trip.
"I think we're all thrilled we're going back home," manager Terry Francona told the Indians' official website after Thursday's 10-7 loss to the Royals.