The last time Max Scherzer faced the Twins, the right- hander put on a dominant performance.
The Detroit hurler aims to keep his perfect 2013 record intact Sunday afternoon when the Tigers conclude a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.
Scherzer and Mike Pelfrey are mound opponents for the second time this season. On April 29 at Comerica Park, Scherzer gave up three runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings in Detroit's 4-3 victory. That effort has been part of a 6-0 record in nine starts this season. The last time Scherzer tasted defeat was at home on Sept. 23, 2012 against the Twins. Since then, including playoffs, Scherzer has gone 13 straight appearances without a loss.
Most recently, Scherzer gave up two hits and a run in eight innings of a 5-1 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday. He retired the final 22 batters he faced after giving up Cleveland's lone run in the bottom of the first inning, including a 98 mph fastball to Drew Stubbs to complete his outing.
Over his career, Scherzer is 4-2 with a 5.20 ERA in 10 games when facing the Twins.
Pelfrey should be fresh considering he pitched only two innings due to a lengthy rain delay Tuesday when the Twins lost at Atlanta in 10 innings. The right-hander has gone three consecutive starts without a victory and is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA in three games against the Tigers. He gave up seven hits and four runs over 5 1/3 innings in the April 29 meeting. Pelfrey got the win against the Tigers on April 4.
The Twins broke a 10-game skid with a 3-2 win yesterday, one night after Detroit's Anibal Sanchez nearly threw a no-hitter.
Joe Mauer, who broke up the potential no-hitter in the ninth inning on Friday, went 3-for-4 with a home run, while Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee contributed an RBI apiece for the Twins. Minnesota scored all its runs in the opening inning.
Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (1-0), who made his season debut, allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings. Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his ninth save.
"It was a long time coming," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Scored early and our pitching staff did a great job. Walters was good. I think he started to getting the ball up a little bit there the last couple of innings, but he was very good and gave us a good start."
Jhonny Peralta had a solo homer and Torii Hunter drove in one run for the Tigers, who won the first two games of this series. Doug Fister (5-2) had seven strikeouts and gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk over seven frames.
"Fister settled down after the first inning and he pitched well," said Hunter. "We just couldn't get the run support that he needed. They (the Twins) lost 10 games in a row but they can beat any team, any day."
Detroit has won five of nine from the Twins this season.