The Tigers and Athletics made waves at the Trade Deadline for their acquisitions of David Price and Jon Lester, respectively, but arguably no in-season deal has worked out better than the Yankees' move to bring Brandon McCarthy in from the D-backs.
In eight games with New York, McCarthy (5-2) has posted a dazzling 1.90 ERA, struck out 51 batters and walked seven. A day before Price takes the hill in Detroit, McCarthy will make his ninth start for the Yankees on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Both teams are competing for a playoff spot, and the Yankees will need to leap the Tigers in the standings, and then the Mariners, for the second American League Wild Card spot. New York has won five consecutive games to pull close on Seattle, while Detroit, who was idle on Monday, trails is right on the Mariners' heels.
McCarthy's last outing was his best since joining the Yankees. The right-hander tossed a four-hitter to beat the Astros on Thursday and bring an overall ERA that sat at 5.01 when he left Arizona down a full run since the trade.
"I feel confident again," McCarthy said. "I feel like I'm able to get through situations. I wasn't there, and then you start to believe you can. It's just kind of the story of the season, riding those ups and downs."
Rick Porcello (14-8), who will start for the Tigers, one-upped McCarthy on Wednesday in a win against the Rays. The right-hander tossed a three-hitter for his Major League-leading third shutout of the year.
"When you throw consecutive pitches on the inner half or in off [the plate] and you get them swinging at it, it makes the outer half of the plate look pretty far away," Porcello said after his last outing.
Tigers: With off-day, Cabrera gets some rest
Detroit hopes Miguel Cabrera will be at full strength for the final stretch.
After getting back-to-back days off -- one during the Tigers' 13-4 win against the Twins on Sunday and another with Monday's off-day -- the reigning two-time AL MVP could return Tuesday against the Yankees.
Cabrera, who also had surgery to repair a core muscle in the offseason, is an obviously critical component to the Tigers' playoff hopes.
"I don't like to talk about my injuries or whatever I've got in my body right now," Cabrera said last week. "The only thing I can say is I'm going to be out there every day and try to play hard. It doesn't matter what I have. I try to play my best. Hopefully I can do my job and hopefully I can help my team to win more games and hopefully we can win the division."
Yankees: Teixeira, Gardner nursing injuries
Add an injured left hamstring to the seemingly never-ending list of ailments for Mark Teixeira, who did not play in Monday's game against the Royals.
The injury is not expected to be serious and Teixeira was available to pinch-hit on Monday, but with New York playing in 13 straight games, the Yankees decided to give him the day off.
"This is a brutal stretch of games, and we've got some guys banged up, so any opportunity to get some rest, we're going to try to take advantage of it," Teixeira said.
The Yankees were also without Brett Gardner, who missed his second straight game after fouling a ball off his right ankle on Saturday.
"I'm encouraged with the way it feels today, hopefully I can do some things on it today and get back to full speed [Tuesday]," said Gardner. "I feel a lot better today than I did [Sunday]."
• Porcello received a loss the last time he faced New York despite limiting the Yankees to one run in seven innings. The Tigers lost that game, 1-0.
• The Yankees' win streak is tied for their season high. They last won six straight games from July 1-6 of last season.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.