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TEX@CLE: Ubaldo allows just two hits over seven

After a common off-day on Monday, the Indians and Tigers will begin a three-game series at Comerica Park on Tuesday, with both clubs looking to bust out of a slump.

Detroit has lost eight of its last 12 games -- including a sweep at the hands of the Tribe from May 22-24 to begin a 10-game road trip -- and is four games below .500. Cleveland has lost seven of its last nine and fallen to 2 1/2 games behind the American League Central-leading White Sox.

Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly will get the call for the Tigers opposite struggling righty Ubaldo Jimenez at Comerica Park, where Jimenez hasn't had any success in his career.

Jimenez is 0-4 with a 9.78 ERA in four career starts at Detroit and 5-4 with a 5.79 ERA overall this season. He yielded seven runs on seven hits in four innings to the White Sox in his last outing.

"They were hitting everything," Jimenez said after the game. "I made a lot of good pitches, and they were able to get either a bloop out of it or find the hole every single time. And then when they hit it good, they hit home runs."

Jimenez reported cramps in his left side after the game, which led Indians manager Manny Acta to push the righty's next start from Saturday to Tuesday.

Smyly will be looking to avoid giving up the long ball. The 22-year-old rookie owned the lowest ERA in the AL at one point in early May. However, he's given up two home runs and four earned runs in three of his last four starts.

"That's how baseball goes," said Smyly, who is seeking his first quality start since May 9. "Sometimes, it just takes a little momentum when things are going your way, just a hit, home run, then a flare and another home run. It's tough."

Both the Indians and Tigers will hope to find a little bit of that momentum on Tuesday.

Indians: Damon placed on paternity list
• Outfielder Johnny Damon was placed on the paternity list on Sunday and will miss Tuesday's game. However, the veteran is expected to be back by Wednesday. Matt LaPorta was called up from Triple-A Columbus as a replacement.

"If it's two days, three days, a week, it doesn't matter," LaPorta said on Sunday afternoon. "I'm up here to hopefully help contribute to this ballclub and help this team out."

• Catcher Carlos Santana, who has been on the seven-day disabled list since May 25 due to a concussion, will return to the lineup on Tuesday. To make room on the 25-man roster, infielder Juan Diaz was optioned to Double-A Akron.

• Jimenez is 3-5 with a 5.96 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers.

Tigers: Group on the mend
• Outfielder Andy Dirks was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, when Matt Young's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo. Young can give the Tigers some speed on the basepaths, as he stole 12 bases in 51 games with the Mud Hens.

• Manager Jim Leyland said that Austin Jackson is still progressing from an abdominal strain that has sidelined him since May 17, but the center fielder likely won't be activated for Tuesday's game.

• If all goes well, Detroit hopes to have Alex Avila, Gerald Laird and Joaquin Benoit back for the series opener against the Indians. All three are day to day; Avila and Laird are dealing with tight hamstrings, and Benoit has a tight right forearm.

Worth noting
Justin Verlander lost his third straight start on Sunday against the Yankees. It is the reigning AL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner's longest losing streak since 2008. The streak started when he lost to the Tribe after pitching an eight-inning complete game. Comments