(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers take aim at first place in the American
League Central on Sunday when they play a day/night doubleheader against the
Minnesota Twins to close a three-game set at Comerica Park.
The doubledip was made necessary when Friday's scheduled opener was postponed
Miguel Cabrera continued to flirt with a Triple Crown on Saturday, as he hit
his 42nd home run and Doug Fister tossed his first career shutout in Detroit's
Cabrera now leads the AL with a .332 average and 131 RBI. His career-high home
run total is also tied for the AL lead with Texas' Josh Hamilton, who remains
sidelined with a sinus problem.
Of course, Boston's Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1967.
"It's something special," said Cabrera, who is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with
six homers and 14 RBI in his last nine games.
Delmon Young hit a three-run home run while Austin Jackson added a solo shot
for the Tigers, who have won three of four and are just a half-game behind the
Chicago White Sox in the division.
"This is what you play for, a chance to be in it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland
said. "Obviously, we felt we would do a little bit better than this, but we
haven't and we're still playing for something."
Samuel Deduno (6-5) gave up seven runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings for
the Twins, who have dropped two straight and five of seven. Joe Mauer had two
hits in the loss.
All of Detroit held its collective breath on Tuesday when Max Scherzer left
his last start against Oakland after only two innings because of shoulder
fatigue. However, he was cleared to go on Sunday after a 10-minute throwing
session on Saturday.
"Everything felt good," Scherzer said. "My arm warmed up quick. My arm felt
100 percent. I was able to throw every pitch."
Scherzer, who is 3-1 in eight starts against the Twins, has won his last six
decisions and is 16-6 on the year with a 3.78 ERA. His 224 strikeouts are also
one more than teammate Justin Verlander for the AL lead.
He's also gone seven-or-more innings in five of his last six starts, over
which he was 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA.
Minnesota will oppose Scherzer with lefty Scott Diamond, who has lost three of
his last four starts. Diamond was roughed up by the White Sox last Sunday to
the tune of six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, dropping him to 11-8 on
the year, while raising his ERA to 3.69.
Diamond is 0-2 in three starts versus the Tigers with a 3.26 ERA.
Getting the call for the Tigers in the nightcap will be lefty Drew Smyly, who
hasn't started since holding the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to one earned
run on four hits over six innings on Aug. 25. He has struggled out of the
bullpen since that start, posting a 9.82 ERA in 3 2/3 innings over four
He is 4-3 with a 4.45 ERA on the year.
In game two, Minnesota will rely on righty P.J. Walters, who has lost his last
three decisions and is 2-4 on the year with a 6.39 ERA. Walters hasn't won
since May 22.
Detroit has won eight of its 13 matchups with the Twins this season.
The Sports Network