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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 27th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Tigers (12-9) at Minnesota Twins (12-11), 2:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (3-1, 2.18) Minnesota - Kyle Gibson (3-1, 3.63)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Verlander looks to continue his domination of the Minnesota Twins when the Detroit Tigers play the rubber match of a three-game set at Target Field this afternoon.

Verlander is 14-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 27 career games against the Twins. That includes a 4-0 mark with a 1.89 ERA in six games at Target Field. The right- hander has won nine straight decisions against the Twins with his last loss coming Apr. 27, 2010.

Verlander has won three straight starts, including Tuesday against the White Sox after he allowed eight hits and a pair of runs in seven innings.

Kyle Gibson counters for the Twins. The righty, who will face Detroit for the first time in his career, is 3-0 in five lifetime starts against AL Central teams. He's coming off his first loss of the season on Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Gibson gave up 10 hits and seven runs in three-plus innings of the 7-3 final.

On Saturday, Phil Hughes turned in his best outing of the season and Trevor Plouffe delivered a key two-run single in the Twins' 5-3 victory.

Hughes (2-1), who entered the matchup with a 6.43 ERA through his first four starts as a Twin, held the Tigers to two runs -- one earned -- and just four hits over a solid seven frames. The right-hander added six strikeouts without a walk.

"He felt great, used of all his pitches, he didn't overthrow the ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Hughes. "He went right at them, and we like that. He moved the ball in and out, which you have to do on these guys."

He was aided by a four-run fifth inning that Plouffe capped with his tie- breaking single and saw Jose Ortega (0-1), pressed into duty when Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was forced to leave after 2 2/3 innings with a finger blister, walk three Minnesota batters to set up the bases-loaded hit.

"It's a tough spot for our entire bullpen," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said afterward. "We were a little bit strapped going into today as it was and then Sanchez's injury strapped us even more."

Detroit was 11-8 against the Twins a year ago.

04/27 10:30:55 ET