Having just completed a four-game set with one of the American League Central's co-leaders, the Minnesota Twins will open up a four-game set with the other on Thursday night at Target Field, as the Detroit Tigers will come to town.
Minnesota just finished a four-game series at home against the Cleveland Indians, thanks to having to make up a rainout with a doubleheader on Monday. The Twins dropped both halves of that doubleheader, but rallied for late victories on Tuesday and Wednesday to split the series and keep themselves from losing any ground in the American League Central race.
In order to make up any ground, however, the Twins are going to have to do something that they have been unable to do in five tries this season, and that's manage a victory over the Tigers. Minnesota has dropped all five of their match-ups against Detroit this season, getting outscored 37-23 in the process.
Things won't get much easier for the Twins in the series opener, however, as they're scheduled to face the man that may be the American League's best pitcher in Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander (12-5, 2.29 ERA). Verlander had an uncharacteristically bad start in his last outing, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in six innings of work against the Chicago White Sox last Friday. The Tigers ended up dropping that one by a final score of 8-2. Verlander has not faced the Twins yet this season.
The Twins will counter with right-hander Carl Pavano (6-6, 4.08 ERA). Pavano has been pretty solid for the Twins in recent weeks, going at least seven innings in 10 of his last 11 starts. His last outing came this past Saturday, as he allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings of work to the Kansas City Royals, but did not figure in the decision as the Twins beat the Royals, 4-3. Pavano has not faced the Tigers this season.
First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. As we get closer to game time, be sure to check out Twinkie Town for their Game Thread so you can discuss the game with your fellow Twins fans, and we'll have your recap back here when the game has finished.