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Michigan
Michigan St.
Detroit

Major League Baseball
Preview
Detroit at Minnesota
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, August 22, 2014
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Detroit Tigers continue their pursuit of American League Central-leading Kansas City when they open a four-game series at the Minnesota Twins on Friday night. The Tigers wasted a one-hit masterpiece by David Price in a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Royals and saw their lead over Seattle for the second wild card cut to a half-game. Detroit split a pair of games in Minnesota in April but has won 21 of 30 matchups at Target Field.

The Twins had gone 20 innings without an extra-base hit before rookie Kennys Vargas homered Thursday, part of a three-hit game that boosted the rookie's batting average to .316 and gave him 17 RBIs in 19 games. Oswaldo Arcia has also been productive with six homers and 17 RBIs in his last 15 games to give Minnesota a pair of young thumpers in the middle of the lineup. Tommy Milone will make his third start for Minnesota against Tigers rookie left-hander Robbie Ray.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET; FSN Detroit, FSN North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Robbie Ray (1-4, 5.33 ERA) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (6-4, 3.99)

Ray is in his second stint with the Tigers this season, taking the place of an injured Anibal Sanchez, but he has not fared well in either of his last two starts. The 22-year-old from Tennessee has lost both outings, allowing four runs over five innings in each, and hasn't received much help from an offense that produced three runs. He had the best outing of his brief career versus Minnesota on May 11 with six scoreless innings.

Milone made his first home start since he was acquired from Oakland and it was a disaster - he lasted a career-low 1 1/3 innings and was tagged for seven runs (six earned). It was the first loss since May 3 for Milone, who hopes to continue a fine track record against the Tigers. Milone is 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts versus Detroit, including 6 2/3 scoreless innings of four-hit ball on May 26 while with Oakland.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is dealing with an ankle injury but has 109 RBIs in 120 games versus Minnesota.

2. Twins 1B Joe Mauer is batting .315 in 145 career games against Detroit.

3. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (shoulder) threw a bullpen session and is schedule to start the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.

PREDICTION: Twins 4, Tigers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Detroit 68-57 L1 33-29 35-28 15-14 24-21 18-16 11-6
Minnesota 56-70 W1 27-35 29-35 13-15 25-26 11-19 7-10
Last Meeting
Detroit Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/15/14 MIN 3 DET 4 .294 0 .807 .200 0 .568
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit T. Hunter .367 11 .908
Minnesota J. Mauer .269 7 .695
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit V. Martinez 3 5 9
Minnesota B. Dozier 3 5 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 3.93 .303 60
Minnesota 5.04 .243 39
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit V. Martinez .322 138 .940
Minnesota K. Suzuki .300 107 .754
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit V. Martinez 24 61 79
Minnesota B. Dozier 20 85 53
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 3.91 .271 969
Minnesota 4.40 .247 792