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Tigers Could Make Second-Half Run

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BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 15: Manager Jim Leyland congratulates Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers after Cabrera hit a solo home run during the ninth inning of the Tigers 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 15: Manager Jim Leyland congratulates Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers after Cabrera hit a solo home run during the ninth inning of the Tigers 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Detroit’s viability as a threat in the American League Central Division might be revealed over the next few weeks.

With Sunday’s 4-0 shutout victory, the Tigers took two of three at Baltimore to start the traditional second half of the season.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We go home to face the Angels, and the White Sox follow them in.”

After that is a road trip to Cleveland, Toronto and Boston before coming home to host Cleveland. Then come sets against the New York Yankees and Texas.

But there is good news among the bad.

Detroit lost another starter, rookie Drew Smyly, but there seems to be some stabilization of the Tigers rotation and Leyland has been cheered recently by increased production from the bottom-five hitters in the batting order, who collectively were the worst in baseball for long stretches of games before the All-Star break.

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