Going up against three former Cy Young Award winners didn't slow down the New York Yankees in their hunt for a playoff spot thanks to some outstanding performances from some lesser-heralded hurlers.
The Yankees will roll the dice again on Friday night when Esmil Rogers gets the call for the opener of a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians.
New York took three of four from Detroit to begin the week despite squaring off against Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander in the first three contests. They won twice, including a victory on Wednesday over Verlander when Chris Capuano scattered an unearned run over 6 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts in a no-decision.
Shane Greene then faced off against 13-game winner Rick Porcello in Thursday's finale and responded by logging a career-high eight-plus scoreless innings in a 1-0 win. He yielded just five singles and three walks.
"Starting pitchers, when you see one guy do good and the next guy do good and start to get on a roll, it's kind of like hitting," said Greene. "Hopefully we can keep it going."
New York has won five of six and is only a half-game behind Kansas City for the second wild card in the American League, and five games out of first place in the AL East.
Now it will be Rogers' turn to try to keep the momentum going as he steps in for David Phelps, who is out with right elbow inflammation.
Rogers has made two appearances with the Yankees since getting claimed off of waivers from Toronto, going three innings and getting a win over Boston on Sunday before logging an inning of work on Tuesday versus Detroit.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 5.84 earned run average in 18 total relief appearances this season, though he did make 20 starts a year ago.
Rogers, 28, has a 0.79 ERA in five career meetings with the Indians, including one start, giving up a run, six hits and five walks over 11 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts.
For the Indians, they'll start 23-year-old Trevor Bauer. He is fresh off the longest start of his career, though it resulted in a no-decision that stretched his winless streak to three games (0-2).
Bauer worked 7 1/3 innings versus Texas on Sunday, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks. He settled down after some early trouble, tossing five scoreless frames to close the outing.
The right-hander is 4-6 with a 4.20 ERA on the year and beat the Yankees back on July 8 in his second career start against them. He was charged with two earned runs over seven frames.
Cleveland won the opener of a four-game home-and-home set with the Cincinnati Reds, but then lost the final three meetings -- including two straight in Cincinnati to close the set -- to fall a game below .500. The Indians also sit four games back of a wild card spot.
Indians starter T.J. House pitched into the seventh inning in Thursday's finale, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and a walk, but got no support in a 4-0 setback.
"He kind of manages to find a way to stay in there even when it's not his best outing and give you a chance on a normal night," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "But I thought his stuff was a little flatter tonight than it's been."
The Yankees and Indians split a four-game set in Cleveland from July 7-10, but New York has swept three-game sets as the host in each of the previous two seasons.
The Yankees are 12-2 versus the Indians at home dating back to the start of the 2010 season.