CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Esmerling Vasquez #59 of the Minnesota Twins leaves the game during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 20, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Twins visit the Detroit Tigers this weekend, trying not just to play spoiler in the Central Division race, but also to stay out of the American League cellar.
The Minnesota Twins have been out of the playoff race longer than almost everyone probably can remember, but wins are beginning to matter once again for Target Field's finest professional sports franchise. Not because they might be able to make the postseason, but rather to save face by not having the worst record in the American League this season.
The Twins will trot Sam Deduno out as Friday night's starting pitcher as they look to move out of a last-place tie with the Cleveland Indians heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. Both teams currently have 62-88 records after struggling throughout the season.
Detroit, the team the Twins are playing are playing on Friday night, is looking quite a bit better as they've won five of their last seven games to improve to 79-70 this season. They currently trail the Chicago White Sox by two games, however, meaning this weekend's series is just as important for the Tigers as it is for the tied-for-last-place Twins -- OK, maybe a bit moreso. Right-hander Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.57 ERA) will take the mound for Detroit.
The game is set for a 6:05 p.m. CT start at Comerica Park.