Hoping to continue the momentum built off an 8-4 win against the Twins on Tuesday night, right-hander Max Scherzer (11-6, 4.65 ERA) takes the mound at Target Field, where he's had mixed success in his career.
The 28-year-old is 2-1 over four career starts in Minnesota, but owns a 5.26 ERA. Two of those starts came back in 2010 -- his first year with the Tigers -- when he allowed 11 runs on 12 hits in 13 1/3 innings.
Since that time, he's been quite a bit better, giving up four runs in 12 1/3 innings over the past two years. That includes a game on May 26 in which he gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings and was taken out due to a rain delay.
"It seemed like we swung and missed several times," outfielder Denard Span said after the game. "Scherzer is definitely a swing-and-miss type pitcher."
Scherzer is on the verge of his third straight season with at least 12 wins, and he is second in the American League in strikeouts (168). He'll need to outduel 27-year-old right-hander Cole De Vries (2-3, 4.77 ERA) to earn it.
De Vries is coming off the shortest outing of his young career. He made it through only 1 1/3 innings vs. the Rays on Friday, yielding eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits. It was the first time in his career the rookie had been unable to throw at least five innings in a start.
"I don't really see anything productive that I can take out of this one, outside of working on forgetting about things," De Vries said.
Tigers: Sanchez having issues in American League
Anibal Sanchez, dealt to the Tigers from the Marlins prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, hasn't found much success with his new team. Since coming over to the American League, he is 1-3 with a 7.97 ERA in four starts, including a loss to Minnesota on Monday.
Also counting four Interleague starts with the Marlins, his record against the AL this season is 1-6 with a 6.91 ERA.
"I didn't know Sanchez before we got him," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I certainly know that he's a better pitcher than what he's shown so far. We just have to keep looking and see what happens."
With an RBI single in the seventh inning, Miguel Cabrera joined Harry Heilmann (1923-29) and Charlie Gehringer (1932-36) as the only Tigers to drive in 100-plus runs in five straight seasons.
Twins: Gardenhire sticks with 18-hit lineup
On Monday, the Twins tallied 18 hits off Sanchez and the Tigers' bullpen. So on Tuesday, manager Ron Gardenhire trotted out the same lineup vs. right-hander Doug Fister.
"I like that," Gardenhire said. "I don't like to change things up when you get 18 hits and win a ballgame, so we just put them right back out there."
The Twins finished with six hits in Tuesday's loss.
As a result of Gardenhire sticking with the same lineup, Denard Span got another day off. Span injured his right shoulder making a diving stop Sunday, and Gardenhire said he probably wouldn't appear back in the lineup until this weekend's series against Seattle.
"He didn't do any fielding ground balls or drills, so he's obviously not ready to do those things, so he's obviously not playing," the skipper said.