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COL@DET: Porcello fans 10 en route to 13th win

It will be difficult for the hype around Thursday's finale between the Tigers and Yankees to top that of the series' first three games, after Detroit sent three straight American League Cy Young Award winners to the mound.

But Rick Porcello, who will start for the Tigers in the finale matinee, is no slouch. In fact, he has a pretty strong case to join the club's playoff rotation over 2011 Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander, who pitched Wednesday's game. Verlander pitched well in that game, though, but the Tigers dropped a 5-1 decision.

For Porcello, though, Thursday is shaping up to potentially be very special. He'll be going for a career high in wins (14) in front of about 20-30 family members and friends. Porcello hails from Morristown, N.J., which is about 40 miles from Yankee Stadium.

The big right-hander's numbers at Yankee Stadium aren't particularly promising that he'll pick up that milestone victory, though. In two career starts, he's 0-1 with an ERA of 8.10.

Therefore, it comes as little surprise that the appeal of pitching at Yankee Stadium, near his hometown, has worn off over time for Porcello.

"Feels like every year it takes a little out of it," he said. "Just from maturity and experience. I get butterflies before every game. It's a different feeling, but I'm able to channel it a lot easier now."

Shane Greene, a 25-year-old rookie, will be making just his sixth big league start for New York.

Greene could have unraveled following the three-run second inning the Red Sox put together off him in his last start. But he stayed composed and completed his 4 2/3 innings of work.

The Tigers' lineup will present a new set of challenges for the rookie, and he'll need to limit the walks he issues. He walked three straight during the rough inning against Boston.

"I was kind of in my own head for a little bit," Greene said after that outing. "I felt good. I was just trying to make perfect pitches. I just had to go back to my game plan and attack guys."

Tigers: Status of Suarez, Hunter unclear for finale
Shortstop Eugenio Suarez and right fielder Torii Hunter were not in the lineup for Wednesday night's game, and it's possible they'll both be out again on Thursday.

Wednesday was Suarez's second straight absence after injuring his knee on a stolen-base attempt on Monday. He could be the more likely candidate of the two to come back on Thursday.

"He does say he feels good," manager Brad Ausmus said. "He'll take ground balls in batting practice [Wednesday], and we're going to make sure that he can move laterally."

Hunter is day to day also, according to Ausmus. X-rays were negative after he was struck on his left hand by a pitch on Tuesday.

"It's the fluid in your hand that makes it sore and tough to move," Ausmus said. "As soon as the inflammation goes down and the fluid gets out of there, [feeling in the hand] comes back very quickly. As long as there's no structural damage underneath it."

Yankees: Club playing nail-biters
If the past few weeks are any indication, Thursday's series finale might be a close one. That's the way most of the Yankees' games have gone of late.

Entering Wednesday, New York had set a franchise record by playing 16 straight games that were decided by two runs or fewer. In those games, the Yankees' record was 9-7.

Manager Joe Girardi was asked if it can be draining playing so many close ballgames, and he didn't think so.

"You could be 13-3, you could be 3-13 too," he said. "As far as draining, no. I think the bullpen gets worked plenty, but they would be worked plenty in probably all of our games, because we don't have starters that are going to give you eight-nine innings, with the rotation that we have, with some age to it and some young kids in it. You expect, usually, to have to get two-three innings from your bullpen every night. So, they'd be worked anyway."

Worth noting
• Porcello is 5-1 with a sub-2.00 ERA over his last seven starts.

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