American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 27th (All times eastern)
Detroit Tigers (22-24) at Minnesota Twins (15-31), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Rick Porcello (3-4, 5.29) Minnesota - P.J. Walters (2-1, 2.95)
(Sports Network) - After claiming the first two games of the series, the Detroit Tigers will try for its second road sweep of the year this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins.
Behind a four-hit game from Prince Fielder and another solid effort from Max Scherzer, the Tigers won Saturday's tilt 6-3. Fielder went 4-for-4 with an RBI, while Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera had two hits and two RBI a piece.
"We're supposed to hit pretty good and we can hit pretty good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of his team's recent offensive success. "I'm not going to get carried away with two games, but it's a pretty good sign."
Scherzer (4-3) pitched 5 1/3 innings before leaving after a rain delay, allowing six hits and three earned runs. The right-hander also struck out nine, giving him 24 punchouts in his last two starts.
The Tigers' bullpen pitched 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
For the Twins, Carl Pavano (2-4) was touched up in the loss, surrendering 10 hits and six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Denard Span and Justin Morneau each homered for Minnesota.
Today the Tigers will pin their hopes on Rick Porcello, who is off to a poor start to the year with a 3-4 record and an ERA of 5.29.
Porcello seemed to have turned things around earlier this month after winning back-to-back starts on May 1 and May 6, but since then he has allowed 15 runs and 23 hits over his last 14 1/3 innings. He took the loss in last Tuesday's game against the Indians, allowing eight hits, three walks, and four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.
Despite his recent struggles, there's room for optimism for Porcello this afternoon as he is 6-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 career starts against the Twins, including a 3-1 mark at Target Field.
The Twins answer with P.J. Walters, who will toe the rubber for the fourth time this season.
The 6-4 right-hander made his season debut on May 12 against the Blue Jays and earned the hard-luck loss after allowing just two runs in six innings of work. Walters followed that up with his first win of the season on May 17 against the Tigers, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing three earned runs.
On Tuesday, Walters pitched the best game of his career, earning the 9-2 win over the White Sox with a complete game five-hitter, allowing two earned runs and while striking out eight.
"(My changeup) was a good pitch for me early in the game," said Walters after his first career complete game. "My breaking ball got better for me later in the game, so I used it more at the end. It definitely got me a few ground balls early in the game that were big for us."
The Twins will be trying to avoid their fifth sweep of the season this afternoon.
05/27 10:35:03 ET