American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, June 13 (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (31-33) at Detroit Tigers (34-28), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Kyle Gibson (5-5, 3.91) Detroit - Drew Smyly (3-4, 3.81)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Hot hitters versus skidding pitchers often means good things for offenses.
The Detroit Tigers can prolong that theory on Friday night at Comerica Park, where they'll meet the Minnesota Twins to begin a three-game series between American League Central rivals.
The Tigers had lost three straight games before Thursday night, when they rode Max Scherzer's right arm and some continued output from Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera to a 4-0 defeat of the Chicago White Sox.
Scherzer tossed his first complete game, while Martinez connected for his third home run on a seven-game hitting streak and Cabrera extended a hit streak of his own to six games with a pair of runs batted in.
Martinez has three homers and seven RBI in his last seven games against Minnesota.
As for Minnesota's Kyle Gibson, he's not won a road game since April 5 and is 0-4 in five subsequent starts while posting an unsightly 8.61 earned run average.
In 11 career road starts, he's managed to last six innings with three or fewer earned runs allowed just twice. And in a May 10 outing at Detroit, he lasted just two innings in a 9-3 loss in which he was tagged for six runs and seven hits -- including a Cabrera home run.
He's permitted a .375 road batting average with runners in scoring position, against a .107 clip at home.
"I don't know what it is. I'm just comfortable throwing (at home)," Gibson said. "I'm definitely comfortable on the road as well, and I don't think the numbers really get in my head. I'm still making pitches on the road. Maybe just not as many in big situations like I do at home."
Detroit opposes Gibson with lefty Drew Smyly, who ended his own five-start skid with a 6-2 defeat of Boston last Friday.
He allowed one earned run in six innings in the victory.
He started three times against Minnesota in 2012 and won once with a 1.84 ERA. In 10 relief meetings against the Twins in 2012, he had a 2.08 ERA.
On Thursday in Chicago, Scherzer tossed his first career shutout, walked three and struck out eight for Detroit.
Bryan Holaday went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the win.
On Wednesday in Toronto, Phil Hughes got back on the winning track and Kendrys Morales had three hits and drove in his first runs with the Twins, as Minnesota beat Toronto, 7-2, at Rogers Centre.
Hughes (7-2) rebounded from his first loss in nine starts last time out to allow just seven hits over seven scoreless innings for the Twins.
The right-hander struck out nine without walking a batter, improving to 7-1 over his last 10 starts.
"Super job again by him," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He changed speeds, moved the ball in and out -- just what we've been seeing."
Morales broke the game open with a three-run double in the seventh for Minnesota. Josh Willingham added a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Twins.
The Twins have won three of five versus the Tigers this season.
06/13 10:27:15 ET