Aaron Civale will make his first start in nearly a month as the Cleveland Guardians continue a three-game road series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Civale (2-5, 6.17 ERA) threw 20 pitches against the Chicago White Sox on July 13 before he was removed and diagnosed with a ligament sprain and inflammation in his right wrist.
He received an anti-inflammatory injection and made a four-inning rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Friday. He gave up two runs (one earned) and three hits while notching three strikeouts.
"He's not going to be fully stretched out," manager Terry Francona said. "He threw four innings in his rehab, so might be able to go 75 or 80 (pitches), something like that."
The return of Civale will make the Guardians' starting staff whole again.
"If he pitches like Aaron can," Francona said, "it will be a really good boost for us."
Civale delivered one of his best outings of the season against Detroit on May 20. He didn't allow an earned run in 6 1/3 innings while collecting his most recent victory.
That's par for the course for Civale. He's 7-0 in eight career starts against the Tigers with a 1.94 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. He's been particularly stingy against Willi Castro (1-for-17), Jonathan Schoop (1-for-15) and Miguel Cabrera (2-for-16).
He'll be opposed by right-hander Drew Hutchison (1-5, 4.37 ERA). In his last outing, Hutchison gave up four runs (two earned) and eight hits in six innings against Tampa Bay. He threw a season-high 88 pitches.
"It was kind of a battle in the beginning," he said. "I thought I got better as the game went on, just a couple mistakes and I paid for them."
Hutchison is 1-1 with a 6.85 ERA in six career outings against the Guardians.
Hutchison will have to be extra sharp because the Guardians' starting pitchers have been on a roll during their current three-game winning streak. Starters Cal Quantrill, Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber haven't allowed a run during the hot stretch.
Bieber lasted seven innings and gave up only four singles and a walk while striking out eight in Cleveland's 5-2 win on Tuesday.
"We want to keep it rolling and kind of pass the torch," Bieber said. "We all know what we can do as a clubhouse, as a team, especially when we're playing aggressively on the mound, in the box and on the basepaths. We want to put pressure on the opponent, and we were able to do that tonight and in the past few games."
Detroit still holds a 7-6 lead in the season series but has lost four straight to the Guardians. The Tigers were nearly shut out for the 16th time this season before scoring two runs with two outs in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk and wild pitch.
"Our guys are still trying," manager A.J. Hinch said. "That's a tough task tonight, especially when Bieber is locating pitches the way he was."
--Field Level Media