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Ray, Tigers eye series win over Twins

(SportsNetwork.com) - Robbie Ray aims to gain some momentum off a strong major league debut when he takes the mound for the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.

Ray pitched into the sixth inning in an 11-4 win over Houston Tuesday. The 22- year-old southpaw allowed five hits and a run over 5 1/3 innings. He also had five strikeouts before departing after throwing 86 pitches, 55 for strikes.

Samuel Deduno, who replaced Mike Pelfrey in Minnesota's rotation, gets the starting assignment this afternoon. The 30-year-old right-hander made his initial start of 2014 on Tuesday at Cleveland and gave up six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over five innings in a 4-2 loss.

Although he's 2-2 lifetime against the Tigers, Deduno's ERA versus Detroit stands at 7.48. He's dropped both of his starts at Comerica Park and has a 15.26 ERA in those outings.

Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each clubbed three-run homers in Detroit's 9-3 win Saturday afternoon.

Cabrera's blast came during Detroit's six-run second inning, while Martinez smashed his eighth homer of the season in the seventh to provide the bullpen with some breathing room.

Detroit starter Max Scherzer (5-1) struck out six and surrendered three runs on five hits and four walks over six innings to pick up the win, Detroit's ninth in its last 11 games.

"I was a little off today," Scherzer admitted. "I walked way too many guys, wasn't throwing first-pitch strikes, but I made some pitches when I needed to and kept the game where it needed to be."

Brian Dozier drilled a three-run homer for the Twins, who have dropped four of their last five games.

Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson (3-3) was tagged for six runs on seven hits and a walk in just two innings to absorb the loss.

"I was happy with how all my pitches were moving, but leaving them over the middle and picking on the edges too much early in the count are two things that didn't help me," Gibson lamented. "(You) can't live in the middle against anybody."

Joe Mauer, who missed the previous five games due to back spasms, returned to the lineup Saturday for the Twins and went 1-for-3 with a walk.

The Tigers split a two-game set with the Twins earlier this season, but won 11 of the 19 matchups a year ago.

05/11 08:48:01 ET

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