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LAA@DET: Fister fans 10 over eight strong innings

At this time last week, the Tigers were in the midst of a five-game winning streak that catapulted them to the top of the American League Central.

Now, as they take the field on Sunday in Toronto, the Tigers are just hoping to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays and a fourth straight loss overall. Detroit is just 1-4 since that five-game winning streak came to an end -- and it's not too difficult to figure out why in the mind of manager Jim Leyland.

After averaging 5.4 runs per game in their first 10 contests following the All-Star break, the Tigers have tallied an average of just 2.8 in their five games since.

"There is no secret whatsoever. It's plain and simple -- you have to knock in runs if you want to win games," Leyland said. "Nobody has ever won a game scoring no runs."

Blue Jays lefty Brett Cecil will try to keep the Tigers' offense in its recent rut, while he also looks to continue re-establishing his spot in the Jays' rotation. Cecil, who started this year in the Minors after a subpar spring, has had his ups and downs since making his season debut on June 17.

Though he enters Sunday's series finale 2-3 with a 5.82 ERA, the numbers haven't necessarily been indicative of how the southpaw has pitched. He's allowed three or fewer runs in five of his seven starts -- including each of the last two, which both still resulted in losses.

Most recently, Cecil limited the surging Athletics to just two runs on five hits over six innings of work. The main concern with Cecil continues to be the long ball, as he's served up eight homers in his seven starts -- after allowing 22 dingers in his 20 starts a season ago.

"When he mislocates, yeah, that has been a relatively high number," manager John Farrell said. "The last two outings ... he's not trying to throw his fastball as hard, which has allowed him to leverage the ball downhill and pitch in the bottom of the strike zone a little bit more frequently."

Whether its courtesy of the long ball, small ball or otherwise, Leyland is just hoping to see his club manufacture runs on Sunday and get back in the win column.

"We have to get production. I'm just telling you the facts," Leyland said. "That's who wins games, that's why the game is made of runs. That's what counts -- runs."

Tigers: Fister looks to keep rolling
• Doug Fister, who will take the mound in Sunday's series finale, couldn't have scripted a much worse ending to the first half of his season.

The right-hander stumbled into the All-Star break allowing 18 earned runs over just 14 1/3 innings in his last three first-half starts, increasing his season ERA from 2.72 to 4.75.

He's rebounded nicely since the Midsummer Classic, however, turning in quality starts in each of his three outings. He enters Sunday 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA since the break, dropping his season ERA back down to 4.02.

Blue Jays: Lind could be facing DL stint
• Adam Lind's frustrating season continued on Saturday, as he missed his second straight game with tightness in his back -- and things could be about to get even worse for Toronto's designated hitter.

With the Blue Jays currently carrying only three bench players, Farrell said the club may need to place Lind on the disabled list in the coming days if he doesn't start showing improvement.

"He loosened up a little bit after treatment," Farrell said before Saturday's contest. "But given where we are, with eight relievers and a very short bench to begin with, if there's not some improvement as we get through [Saturday], we may be looking at a DL [stint]."

Though Lind dealt with lower back issues much of last season, Farrell said Lind is feeling the discomfort in a different area this time around. This is just the latest setback in the 2012 campaign for Lind, who spent more than a month at Triple-A Las Vegas after extensive early-season struggles led to a demotion.

Worth noting
• The Blue Jays are 17-9 against the AL Central this season, but sport losing records against each of the other two AL divisions.

• Toronto is 51-49 through 100 games, marking the sixth straight season the Jays have been within two games -- either above or below -- of .500 at the 100-game mark. Comments