Armando Galarraga is preparing to be reunited with Jim Joyce for the first time since his near perfect game June 2.
The Detroit Tigers starter and home plate umpire will be the focus of Friday night's series opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park.
Joyce is scheduled to be umpiring with Galarraga (4-5, 3.89 ERA) on the mound for the first time since that memorable game against Cleveland. Joyce was at first base and called Jason Donald safe after Galarraga had retired the first 26 batters.
The veteran and respected umpire acknowledged he made the wrong call after the game and sought out Galarraga to apologize.
"Apprehensive, but also kind of excited about it," said Joyce about serving as home plate umpire Friday.
The umpire and the pitcher hugged on the field the next day, with Joyce in tears over his mistake. Both drew praise for the composure they showed during the incident, and Galarraga has seemingly put it behind him.
"It will be no big deal," Galarraga said Thursday.
Galarraga is 1-0 with a 1.48 ERA over his last four starts, allowing one run over five innings in a 2-1 loss at Kansas City on Sunday. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA in three career outings against Baltimore (53-87).
Both teams seem to be enjoying playing the role of spoiler.
Detroit (71-70) took the final three games of a four-game set against Chicago, winning 6-3 on Thursday. Johnny Damon had four hits for the Tigers, who have won six of eight to move over .500 for the first time since July 31.
"We came into the season with bigger hopes, thinking we could win the World Series," Damon said. "Good teams can rebound from tough times and we weren't able to do that until now."
Baltimore fell just short of its first five-game winning streak since June 2009 with a 3-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday when closer Koji Uehara gave up a two-run homer to Nick Swisher in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Orioles fell to 21-14 under manager Buck Showalter.
"I'm proud of our guys. This one stings a bit right now, but you can't think of what could've been," Showalter said.
The Orioles have dropped five straight at Comerica Park and will send baseball's leader in losses - Kevin Millwood (3-15, 5.38) - to the mound. Millwood ended his six-game losing streak Aug. 28 against Los Angeles before yielding four runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay last Friday.
The veteran right-hander turned in the third-shortest start of his career when he gave up five runs over one inning and did not get a decision in a 12-9 loss at Detroit on July 5.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who leads the majors with 110 RBIs, has missed the last two games with tendinitis in his left shoulder and biceps but may return Friday. He is 11 for 32 against Millwood.