(Sports Network) – Magglio Ordonez had three hits and drove in three runs in Detroit’s 7-3 victory in the opener of a crucial three-game intradivision set.
Carlos Guillen had two hits and drove in two runs, and Miguel Cabrera singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 17 games for Detroit, which maintained its’ hold on the top spot in the AL Central.
Justin Verlander (11-5) made it through 5 1/3 innings to grab the win after being charged with a pair of runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out seven for the Tigers, who have won four straight and six out seven.
Francisco Liriano (6-7) was banged up to the tune of seven runs on six hits, two walks and two hit batters over just 1 2/3 innings, while recording only one strikeout in his shortest outing of the year as the Twins fell for a third consecutive game and for a fifth time in six tries.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Twins will try and gain some ground in the American League Central this weekend, as they close the first half of their season with a three-game set against the division-leading Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Minnesota, though, may have its work cut out for itself, as it faces right- hander Justin Verlander in Friday's opener. Verlander won for the fifth time in his last six starts on Saturday against Seattle, as he allowed a run and seven hits in seven innings, upping his season mark to 10-5 to go along with a 3.85 earned run average.
Verlander lost to the Twins the last time he faced them and is 5-7 with a 4.03 ERA in 15 games against them.
Detroit enters this series with a half-game lead on the Chicago White Sox in the Central and sits two games in front of the Twins. The Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, winning the finale 4-2.
Max Scherzer threw seven solid innings in that one and was charged with one run on six hits to win his fourth game in his last five starts.
"He pitched great," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Scherzer. "He was spent after getting out of the seventh, but he pitched a great game against a good hitting team."
The Tigers will take their cuts tonight against lefty Francisco Liriano, who is 6-6 with a 3.32 ERA. Liriano did not get a decision on Saturday against Tampa Bay, despite allowing a run and four hits in seven innings of his team's 8-6 loss. He also struck out 10, but saw his winless streak hit four games.
Liriano is 1-1 against the Tigers this season, and is 4-2 lifetime against them with a 4.41 ERA in 13 games, nine of which have been starts.
Minnesota was denied a series win in Toronto on Thursday, as it dropped the rubber match of its three-game set with the Jays, 8-1.
Scott Baker started on the mound and suffered the loss for the Twins, who have dropped five of their last seven games overall. Baker (7-8) yielded five runs on seven hits over six innings of work. Michael Cuddyer homered for the lone Minnesota run.
"I was making some good pitches, but I got a few up and made several mistakes," said Baker. "For the most part, I thought I threw okay -- I don't think the (statistics) justify how I felt about my outing."
Minnesota has won six of its nine matchups with the Tigers this season.