Below is a local product, having grown up in Britton, Mich., roughly an hour from Detroit, and having attended Lake Michigan College in the western part of the state. Below earned his stripes in the Tigers system, making his first appearance for the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2006 and his Triple-A debut this season.
His lengthy stay in the Minors has allowed the Tigers to get a good look at the 25-year-old southpaw, who manager Jim Leyland said has made one noticeable change throughout the season.
"His control has been really good this year," Leyland said. "It wasn't in Spring Training."
Countering Below will be Brandon McCarthy, who looks to build off his previous start -- his first victory since coming off the disabled list on July 3 and first overall since April 10. In between, McCarthy endured five losses in nine starts. Despite the injury, the right-hander has proven reliable, having lasted at least six innings in eight of his last nine starts.
One of McCarthy's best starts of the season came against the Tigers. On April 15, he blanked Detroit over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and only one walk. His 1.43 walks per nine innings currently ranks third in the AL (minimum 70 innings).
Athletics: Weeks continues to rack up hits
Jemile Weeks made his big league debut on June 7 and since then, all he has done is hit his way on base. Weeks, who is hitting .307 (44-for-143) this season, saw his streak of four consecutive multi-hit games end with an 0-for-5 night on Tuesday, but he has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games. Since going 0-for-4 in his first game, the second baseman's average has not dipped below .287, which it did on July 10.
Tigers: Cabrera once again punishes A's
Miguel Cabrera is having a relatively quiet July, but when he hit his 20th home run of the season on Tuesday, he expanded on his recent history of pounding Oakland pitching. Cabrera, who entered Tuesday's game hitting .178 this month, hit his 11th home run and drove in his 28th and 29th runs against Oakland since joining the Tigers in 2008. In that span, Cabrera is hitting .330 (35-for-106) in 29 games. The A's have somewhat held Cabrera in check this season. The Tigers' first baseman is hitting only .176 (3-for-17) against Oakland in 2011, though two of the hits are home runs.
Oakland pitching has allowed four runs or more just four times since June 14.