The Detroit Tigers had a plum opportunity to break out of a rut and win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month. Instead they made four errors and allowed the Minnesota Twins, who rank last in the American League in scoring, to put up 11 runs in a loss Wednesday. The Tigers have not won back-to-back games since a four-game winning streak from April 15-18 and dropped back below .500 (18-19) with Wednesday’s home setback. The Twins have a much more positive view of the series opener as they were able to overcome their starting pitching woes.
Detroit is 9-16 over its last 25 games and has allowed at least seven runs in three straight. Drew Smyly, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello have each struggled in the last three days, putting far too much pressure on the bullpen and the offense. Minnesota got only two innings from Nick Blackburn on Wednesday but pounded out 14 hits and had nine different players score at least one run.
Twins Tigers Betting
When: 1:05 PM ET, Thursday, May 17, 2012
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH P.J. Walters (0-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Doug Fister (0-1, 0.54)
Walters turned in a solid effort last week after being recalled from the minors, allowing two runs and striking out five in six innings against the Blue Jays. Poor run support robbed him of his first AL win. Walters was 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA for Triple A Rochester before getting the call.
Fister was a tough-luck loser last weekend as well, surrendering one run in six innings while striking out eight at Oakland. The right-hander has shown no signs of the oblique injury that kept him out a month in his two starts back. Fister is 1-4 but has a 3.24 ERA in five career starts against Minnesota.
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1. Tigers leadoff hitter Austin Jackson, who is batting .331, was lifted after the fourth inning Wednesday with a mild abdominal strain. He is day-to-day.
2. Justin Morneau came off the disabled list Monday and started at first base for the Twins. He went 1-for-5 with a double.
3. Detroit closer Jose Valverde (back) is out for a few days. The team will likely use Joaquin Benoit in his place.