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DET@SEA: Fister shuts out Mariners over seven frames

After a combined 31 runs scored the past two nights, expect the runs to be at a premium Saturday when the Tigers and Athletics square off in the third game of a four-game series in Oakland.

Doug Fister takes the mound for Detroit and hasn't allowed a run in 10 2/3 innings this year. Brandon McCarthy gets the call for Oakland and although he's allowed a few, his 2.96 ERA still ranks him at the 16th lowest in the American League.

Both pitchers, however, are battling back from injuries.

Fister returned Monday after spending a month on the disabled list with a left rib-cage muscle strain. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits on 73 pitches versus the Mariners.

"It was vintage Fister, really," said manager Jim Leyland after the game, impressed with Fister's efficiency after missing that much time. "You can't ask for any more than what he did."

McCarthy, on the other hand, will be pitching on nine days' rest after getting scratched from his schedule start Tuesday with soreness in his pitching shoulder.

It's an injury that's plagued him throughout his career -- he's landed on the DL with the same injury four of the past five seasons -- but after pitching a "pain-free" bullpen session Thursday, he said he's good to go.

"I didn't feel anything today," he said. "I felt fine, and it's really not a concern at this point."

McCarthy did say that he understands the magnitude of coming out of Saturday's game without issues.

"These next couple of starts will be big for me, to see where it's at and if it is coming on," he said. "But the way it feels right now, there's nothing that should stop me."

The A's 28-year-old right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 15 appearances and eight starts in his career against the Tigers. Fister is 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 starts facing the A's.

Athletics: Inge torching former team
Brandon Inge is 7-for-20 (.350) with four home runs -- two of which were grand slams -- and 16 RBIs over his past five games. He has especially wreaked havoc on his former team going 3-for-9 with two home runs and eight RBIs in two games against the Tigers. Inge is 3-for-7 (.420) with a home run in his career against Fister.

Josh Reddick is 6-for-9 (.667) with a triple, two home runs and five RBIs through two games against the Tigers.

Yoenis Cespedes (strained muscle in back of left hand) could return to the lineup Saturday.

Tigers: Dirks' settling in to new home
Andy Dirks continues to rake in the two-hole. In five games, he is hitting .550 (11-for-20) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs.

Jhonny Peralta is 1-for-21 (.048) against McCarthy in his career.

Worth Noting
With the Indians (18-14) losing 7-5 to the Red Sox, the Tigers (16-16) had a chance to gain some ground on the American League Central division leaders. But an 11-4 loss Friday night kept them two games back.

The A's (17-16) remain in second place in the AL West behind the Rangers, who at 22-11 own the best record in the American League.

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