The Tigers' 28-year-old right-hander is set to pitch in the second game of a three-game set against the Twins on Tuesday, and he is 1-6 with a 4.36 ERA in seven career starts against them. He's also never won at Target Field (0-2 in two tries).
Add that to the fact he's allowed 10 runs on 17 hits in 10 innings against Minnesota this season, and it looks like Tuesday could spell disaster for a Tigers team looking to keep pace in the American League Central with the first-place White Sox.
However, Fister is shaping up for another spectacular run as he had to close out the 2011 season. Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA down the stretch for the Tigers. His one career victory over the Twins came during that span.
Since the All-Star break, Fister is 4-1 and he enters the contest with the same ERA as he had in the second half last year.
"You can't get better than the way he has pitched his last few outings," said catcher Alex Avila after Fister's first complete game with the Tigers on Aug. 4. "There's no, 'Well, he's getting better with each start.' That's as good as it gets right there."
The Twins will counter with Brian Duensing. It hasn't been a good year for the left-hander, as he is 2-7 with a 4.46 ERA this season and has just two quality starts in seven games in the rotation.
Duensing allowed six runs (four earned) on a season-high 11 hits in his last outing against Cleveland. He did, however, pitch seven innings.
"It was a tough ballgame for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said following the 6-2 loss to the Indians that ended Cleveland's 11-game losing streak.
Tigers: Villarreal diagnosed with elbow inflammation
The news could've been a lot worse for reliever Brayan Villarreal, who underwent an MRI on Monday, a day after allowing two runs in 1/3 of an innings against the Rangers and complaining of elbow fatigue.
"The MRI showed basically some inflammation in and around the flexor where it attaches," head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. "There's no major structural damage there. It's something that we just have to try to get quiet."
The 25-year-old is considered day to day.
For Detroit manager Jim Leyland, it's pretty simple to pencil in the the top four in his lineup everyday. But it's that No. 5 spot, behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, that's given him trouble.
Delmon Young had been struggling, which made Leyland switch things up and put Brennan Boesch there. However, Boesch hasn't performed much better. So on Monday, catcher Alex Avila got the promotion. He entered the game batting .452 in August and went 0-for-4.
Miguel Cabrera needs one RBI to become the Tigers' first player to drive in 100 in five straight seasons since Charlie Gehringer in 1936, according to STATS LLC.
Twins: Plouffe returns to action
Trevor Plouffe was back in the lineup Monday for the first time since July 20. The third baseman had been on the disabled list with a bruised thumb after being jammed by a pitch during a game against the Royals. He went 0-for-4 on the night.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make space on the 25-man roster. Nishioka played in three games and went hitless (0-for-12) and committed three errors in the field.
Center fielder Denard Span tried to make a diving catch in Sunday's game and wound up in injuring his shoulder. The X-ray results came back negative, but it was enough to keep him out of the lineup Monday and possibly longer.
"The next couple days we'll be doing some more treatment on it," Span said. "They've got me on anti-inflammatories and I'll be seeing a masseuse and all that, so I think by tomorrow, I'll know more, and the train will know where I'm at."
With the Twins' 9-3 victory over the Tigers on Monday, the season series stands at 5-5. Detroit has outscored Minnesota, 55-54.