The Detroit Tigers continue their quest toward an American League Central crown on Saturday when they once again try to open a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
This series was slated to get underway on Friday, but rain caused a postponement. Now the series will close with a day-night doubleheader on Sunday.
Detroit enters this matchup trailing the division-leading Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2 games. But the Tigers close their season with 13 games against the Twins and Kansas City Royals. The Twins, of course, are tied with the Cleveland Indians for the worst record in the AL, while the Royals are 13 games under .500.
The Tigers lost for only the third time in nine tries on Thursday and were denied a three-game sweep over the Oakland Athletics with a 12-4 loss.
Gerald Laird, Austin Jackson and Prince Fielder knocked in runs, and Andy Dirks also homered for the Tigers, who remained within striking distance of Chicago in the AL Central. Chicago lost at Kansas City on Thursday.
Anibal Sanchez (3-6) was charged with six hits and six runs -- five earned -- over 5 2/3 innings.
"We won the first two and we got off to a good start today. Obviously we didn't get it, that's the way it is. Now we turn the page and start to scoreboard watch," noted Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Getting the call for the Tigers on Saturday will be righty Doug Fister, who had a two-start winning streak stopped his last time out. Fister lost to Chicago on Monday, as the White Sox reached him for five runs (4 earned) and eight hits in only four innings, dropping him to 9-9 to go along with a 3.65 ERA.
Fister beat the Twins the last time he faced them, but is just 2-6 lifetime against them with a 3.68 ERA in eight starts.
The Twins, meanwhile, enter this series on the heels of a series win, despite a 4-3 loss to the Indians in 10 innings on Thursday.
"Bummer," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "This was a bummer of a day at the end there."
Minnesota will pin its hopes today on righty Samuel Deduno, who is 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA. Deduno lost for the fourth time in six starts on Sunday against the White Sox, allowing four runs and five walks in four innings.
"My mechanics were OK, but I was just trying to do too much," Deduno said. "Nothing was working. But sometimes that's just part of the game."
He beat the Tigers back on Aug. 13 in his only other start against them.
Detroit has won seven of its 12 matchups with the Twins this season.