American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 23rd (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (62-89) at Detroit Tigers (80-70), 1:05 p.m. & 7:05 p.m. (DH)
Probable Starting Pitchers: Game One: Minnesota - Scott Diamond (11-8, 3.69) Detroit - Max Scherzer (16-6, 3.78)
Game Two: Minnesota - P.J. Walters (2-4, 6.39) Detroit - Drew Smyly (4-3, 4.45)
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers take aim at first place in the American League Central on Sunday when they play a day/night doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins to close a three-game set at Comerica Park.
The doubledip was made necessary when Friday's scheduled opener was postponed by rain.
Miguel Cabrera continued to flirt with a Triple Crown on Saturday, as he hit his 42nd home run and Doug Fister tossed his first career shutout in Detroit's 8-0 win.
Cabrera now leads the AL with a .332 average and 131 RBI. His career-high home run total is also tied for the AL lead with Texas' Josh Hamilton, who remains sidelined with a sinus problem.
Of course, Boston's Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1967.
"It's something special," said Cabrera, who is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with six homers and 14 RBI in his last nine games.
Delmon Young hit a three-run home run while Austin Jackson added a solo shot for the Tigers, who have won three of four and are just a half-game behind the Chicago White Sox in the division.
"This is what you play for, a chance to be in it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Obviously, we felt we would do a little bit better than this, but we haven't and we're still playing for something."
Samuel Deduno (6-5) gave up seven runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings for the Twins, who have dropped two straight and five of seven. Joe Mauer had two hits in the loss.
All of Detroit held its collective breath on Tuesday when Max Scherzer left his last start against Oakland after only two innings because of shoulder fatigue. However, he was cleared to go on Sunday after a 10-minute throwing session on Saturday.
"Everything felt good," Scherzer said. "My arm warmed up quick. My arm felt 100 percent. I was able to throw every pitch."
Scherzer, who is 3-1 in eight starts against the Twins, has won his last six decisions and is 16-6 on the year with a 3.78 ERA. His 224 strikeouts are also one more than teammate Justin Verlander for the AL lead.
He's also gone seven-or-more innings in five of his last six starts, over which he was 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA.
Minnesota will oppose Scherzer with lefty Scott Diamond, who has lost three of his last four starts. Diamond was roughed up by the White Sox last Sunday to the tune of six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, dropping him to 11-8 on the year, while raising his ERA to 3.69.
Diamond is 0-2 in three starts versus the Tigers with a 3.26 ERA.
Getting the call for the Tigers in the nightcap will be lefty Drew Smyly, who hasn't started since holding the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to one earned run on four hits over six innings on Aug. 25. He has struggled out of the bullpen since that start, posting a 9.82 ERA in 3 2/3 innings over four appearances.
He is 4-3 with a 4.45 ERA on the year.
In game two, Minnesota will rely on righty P.J. Walters, who has lost his last three decisions and is 2-4 on the year with a 6.39 ERA. Walters hasn't won since May 22.
Detroit has won eight of its 13 matchups with the Twins this season.
09/23 10:40:40 ET