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Tigers avoid sweep with 7-1 win over Indians

Associated Press Modified: September 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012

DETROIT (AP) — When Detroit lost two straight to the struggling Cleveland Indians, Tigers manager Jim Leyland vowed to keep an even keel.

After a big win to wrap up the series, Leyland conceded one thing: This upcoming 10-game road trip is big.

"When everybody else knows the importance of it, obviously the players, the manager and the coaches know the importance of it," Leyland said. "The fans know. I'm sure they'll be watching, and there will be some late nights for them, maybe when we're in Anaheim. Then off to Chicago.

"Yeah, I don't think you can downplay it."

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Prince Fielder added a solo shot in the eighth to help the Tigers avoid a three-game sweep with a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.

Detroit remained one game behind the first-place White Sox in the AL Central. On Friday night, the Tigers start a stretch of 10 straight away from home — three against the Los Angeles Angels, four against the White Sox and three against Cleveland.

"Our fate's in our own hands," Detroit right-hander Doug Fister said. "We control our own destiny, we just have to take care of what we do."

Fister (8-8) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Ubaldo Jimenez (9-15) gave up four runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He was generally sharp after allowing Cabrera's 35th homer of the year, but Detroit tacked on five runs in the eighth to break it open.

The Tigers lost consecutive 3-2 games to start this series.

Fister has been on the disabled list twice this season and also missed a start on Aug. 25 because of an injury. He has had Cleveland's number lately, though. In his last seven starts against the Indians, he's 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA.

Detroit is hoping for another big September from Fister. He went 5-0 with a 0.53 ERA in the month last year.

If Fister can stay healthy and provide quality outings, the Tigers could have a formidable trio of starters for their playoff chase — with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer also looking impressive.

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