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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, September 21st (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Twins (62-88) at Detroit Tigers (79-70), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Samuel Deduno (6-4, 3.84) Detroit - Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.57)

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers continue their quest towards an American League Central crown on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.

Detroit enters this matchup trailing the division-leading Chicago White Sox by two games. But the Tigers close their season with 13 games against the Twins and Kansas City Royals. The Twins, of course, are tied with the Cleveland Indians for the worst record in the AL, while the Royals are 13 games under .500.

The Tigers lost for only the third time in nine tries on Thursday and were denied a three-game sweep over the Oakland Athletics with a 12-4 loss.

Gerald Laird, Austin Jackson and Prince Fielder knocked in runs, and Andy Dirks also homered for the Tigers, who remained within striking distance of Chicago in the AL Central. Chicago lost at Kansas City on Thursday.

Anibal Sanchez (3-6) was charged with six hits and six runs -- five earned -- over 5 2/3 innings.

"We won the first two and we got off to a good start today. Obviously we didn't get it, that's the way it is. Now we turn the page and start to scoreboard watch," noted Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Hoping to get them back into the win column the Tigers will rely on righty Rick Porcello, who has lost his last six decisions. Porcello, though, did not get a decision on Sunday in Cleveland, as the Indians reached him for four runs (2 earned) and eight hits in only 4 2/3 innings.

"It's frustrating, especially at this time of year," Porcello said. "These are high-intensity games as far as how much they mean. We're right there in this race."

Porcello is 6-4 in 15 starts versus the Twins with a 3.24 ERA.

The Twins, meanwhile, enter this series on the heels of a series win, despite a 4-3 loss to the Indians in 10 innings on Thursday.

"Bummer," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "This was a bummer of a day at the end there."

Minnesota will pin its hopes Friday on righty Samuel Deduno, who is 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA. Deduno lost for the fourth time in six starts on Sunday against the White Sox, allowing four runs and five walks in four innings.

"My mechanics were OK, but I was just trying to do too much," Deduno said. "Nothing was working. But sometimes that's just part of the game."

He beat the Tigers back on Aug. 13 in his only other start against them.

Detroit has won seven of its 12 matchups with the Twins this season.

09/21 10:37:21 ET