Detroit is one game out of a Wild Card berth and two games back in the AL Central, but is 1-4 in its past five games. The Tigers will need a strong series in Minnesota after dropping two out of three against the Rangers to open a six-game road swing.
Anibal Sanchez, acquired from the Marlins in July, will make his fourth start for the Tigers and first against the Twins. Sanchez has just one quality start since being traded to Detroit and was hit hard by the Yankees on Wednesday at home, allowing seven runs on seven hits.
"Everything didn't work," Sanchez said after the game.
The Tigers have managed just four runs in their past two contests. The offense could awaken on Monday, though, against Twins right-hander Sam Deduno.
Deduno had his shortest outing of the year on Wednesday against Cleveland, going four innings and giving up four runs. He walked five, hit a batter and surrendered a home run. He has issued 25 walks in 34 innings this season.
The Twins have lost four in a row, including a 7-3 defeat in 10 innings on Sunday against the Rays. But help is on the way for Minnesota as third baseman Trevor Plouffe is set to join the club on Monday.
Plouffe, on the disabled list retroactive to July 21, is returning from a Minor League rehab assignment after suffering a bruised right thumb. He played with Triple-A Rochester over the weekend and is on track to get back to the Majors.
"He's ready," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He'll play [Sunday in the Minors] and he will be back [Monday], if everything goes good."
Plouffe hurt his thumb on July 20 when he jammed it while swinging a bat. The injury caused nerve damage in his thumb, forcing him to wear extra padding in his batting glove.
Plouffe hit .259 with 19 home runs and 38 RBIs 74 games with the Twins before the injury.
Tigers: Leyland not a fan of expanded rosters
• Detroit manager Jim Leyland does not agree with expanding rosters each September. Leyland does not think it is fair for managers to play matchups well for the first five months of the season and then suddenly have those advantages diminished in September when teams have deeper rosters.
"I've been really adamant about that, really a stickler on it," Leyland said. "When I have that meeting with the Commissioner [Bud Selig, as part of the special committee for on-field matters], I talk about that all the time."
The committee has discussed a rule change that would still allow for expanded rosters in September, but limit the number of active players a club could use for each game. That would be similar to the National Hockey League's system, but the rule has yet to come into play.
"I was hoping they would do something like that," Leyland said. "Myself, if everybody went to 28, that wouldn't bother me at all. I think that's fine. That's just my feeling, but any manager who does a pretty good job of managing all year, and then at the biggest month of the year, he loses some of his ability to maneuver."
• Detroit reliever Daniel Schlereth pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday night for Class A Lakeland as he continues his Minor League rehab assignment. He worked around two walks.
Schlereth, recovering from left shoulder tendinitis, has allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings in the Minors with three strikeouts against three walks. He is not close to a return to the Majors, though. His next step will be an appearance in a higher Minor League level.
Twins: Capps to have MRI
• Twins closer Matt Capps is scheduled to have an MRI exam on his right shoulder on Monday. The best-case scenario would be for Capps to play catch on Wednesday.
Capps has been sidelined with right rotator cuff irritation since July 17 and has not thrown since. He's trying to strengthen his shoulder and was optimistic on Sunday that the MRI would bring good news.
"If all goes good, I'm going to start playing catch on Wednesday," Capps said. "Then, from my understanding, every other day for a week, then every day, then off a mound."
There is no timetable for his return, but Capps hopes to return to the Twins sometime in early September.
"Barring something drastic or something new, I've got full intentions of pitching in September," Capps said. "Sometime early September, I anticipate being back out there. I haven't seen a hard schedule or anything like that, so it's hard for me to say Aug. 30 or Sept. 5 or anything like that. Just early September is when I'm hoping to be back out there."
• Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs on Sunday and is second in the Majors with 98 RBIs this season, trailing Texas' Josh Hamilton (99).
• Twins catcher Joe Mauer singled on Sunday to pass Torii Hunter on the club's all-time hits list and move into sole possession of seventh place. Mauer has 1,219 hits with the Twins.