The Minnesota Twins will once again attempt to get their first victory of the 2011 season over the Detroit Tigers on Friday at Target Field, as the teams meet for the second game of their four-game set. The Tigers have won all six of their meetings against the Twins this year and, conveniently enough, currently sit six games ahead of the Twins in the American League Central division. Detroit's 6-2 victory on Thursday night allowed them to move half a game ahead of the Cleveland Indians into sole possession of first place in the division.
Minnesota could manage just five hits and one run off of Detroit starter Justin Verlander on Thursday night, and the Tigers will hope to have similar success when they send right-hander Max Scherzer (10-5, 4.53 ERA) to the hill. Scherzer has taken losses in three of his last five starts, including his most recent outing on Saturday, when he allowed two runs on eight hits over eight innings of work, but saw his team fall to the Chicago White Sox by a score of 5-0. He has faced Minnesota once this season, back on May 31, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings, but managing a no-decision as the Tigers defeated the Twins 8-7.
The Twins will look to left-hander Brian Duensing (7-7, 4.14 ERA) to help them rebound from Thursday night's loss. Duensing has been credited with wins in three of his last four starts, and has not been credited with a loss since June 23. In his last start, he went 6.1 innings against the Kansas City Royals, allowing three runs on seven hits and getting the win in Minnesota's 4-3 victory. He was the starter for the Twins in the aforementioned 8-7 loss back on May 31, allowing six hits on nine runs in just 4.2 innings, but he also managed a no-decision. He also made one relief appearance against Detroit back on May 10, allowing two runs on three hits (and walking four) in two innings of work in a 10-2 Minnesota loss.
First pitch for tonight's game is scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time at Target Field. Be sure to keep an eye on Twinkie Town for when the Game Thread will get up and running, and check back here for your recap after the game is over.