Tigers send Porcello to mound against Twins

( - Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello tries to reverse his recent fortunes against the Minnesota Twins on Friday when the Tigers kick off a three-game series against them at Target Field,

Although Porcello is 7-6 lifetime against the Twins with a 3.68 ERA in 19 starts, he was just 1-2 against them last season with a 5.40 ERA. Still, he is 4-2 in seven starts at Target Field with a 2.85 ERA.

Porcello won for the second time in three starts this season on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as he allowed a run and five hits in seven innings to lower his ERA to 3.15 on the year.

"When he commands his fastball, he's as good as anybody," Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "He did today. When you have a guy like that on the mound, you always have to be ready on defense. He induces a lot of ground balls."

Detroit enters this series after a 5-4 homestand that culminated with a 7-4 win on Thursday over the Chicago White Sox. Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs and Rajai Davis had three hits, including a solo homer, to lead the Tigers in that one, as they split the four-game series.

Max Scherzer (2-1) had 10 strikeouts in six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk. The American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner has fanned 44 batters in 33 innings this season.

"I did a good job of pitching with runners on base and I was able to get strikeouts when I needed to," said Scherzer.

Minnesota, meanwhile, also enters Friday's game on a bit of a roll after taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Twins claimed that series on Thursday, as Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer and Kurt Suzuki also knocked in three runs to lift them to a 9-7 win. Sam Fuld finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and drove in two for the Twins, winners in five of their last eight overall.

Ricky Nolasco (2-2) won despite giving up six runs on 10 hits and two walks over six-plus innings. Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

"He gave us everything he had," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Nolasco. "Pretty good performance, really, against this ballclub, in this ballpark."

Hoping to keep Minnesota in the win column on Friday will be veteran right- hander Kevin Correia, who is still searching for his first win of the season. Correia fell to 0-2 on Saturday in Kansas City, as the Royals reached him for five runs (4 earned) and nine hits in six innings to raise his ERA to 5.47.

"We're a starting pitching staff that pitches to contact," Correia said. "We don't have a guy on this team that's going to strike out 200 guys in a season. We pride ourselves on making plays. We've done that in the past."

Correia has faced the Tigers six times and is 1-3 against them with a 2.75.

Detroit was 11-8 against the Twins a year ago.