Tigers, Twins play two in Minnesota

( - Getting together for a pair of games on Saturday, the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins hope to create some more exciting American League Central baseball at Target Field.

On Friday the Twins opened the four-game set with a mind-numbing 20-6 win, an offensive explosion the likes of which Minnesota has not seen in more than five years.

The hosts pounded out 20 hits as they became the first team in the majors to reach the 20-run plateau this season.

"I don't know how to describe that ballgame," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A lot of runs were scored and balls were flying everywhere."

Of the eight players who had hits for the Twins, all but one had at least two hits. Leading the charge was Eduardo Escobar who notched five hits, scored three runs and hit his fourth home run of the season.

Danny Santana connected on his sixth home run of the campaign and plated four, while Joe Mauer, Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe each had three RBI, with the latter two going deep as well.

Minnesota starting pitcher Tommy Milone made it through only 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits, while striking out three. Eventually, Ryan Pressly was credited with the win for the Twins as he recorded just two outs.

Not so lucky was Detroit starter Robbie Ray who was knocked around for six runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 innings. Ray was touched for a pair of home runs and struck out three as he suffered his fourth loss of 2014.

The Tigers managed to come up with 15 hits of their own on the night, but all of that action turned into only six runs.

One of five visitors with at least two hits, Ian Kinsler hit his 12th home run of the season, but that was one of only three extra-base hits for Tigers team which is now 2 1/2 games out of first in the AL Central.

"This was a bad game. It was an embarrassing game, really," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus remarked. "There's really not much to say about it. It is what it is."

Making just his second major league appearance this afternoon is Detroit hurler Buck Farmer. The right-hander will start the first game of the day after being called up from Triple-A Toledo.

In his first and only appearance in the majors, Farmer lasted five innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 13, giving up four runs on six hits, striking out four, but he failed to earn the decision.

Penciled in to make the start in the first game of the day for the Twins is Yohan Pino. Undrafted, the right-hander is in his rookie year and is getting his first-ever look at the Detroit lineup this afternoon.

Pino, who has yet to win at home in 2014, has not won a game since July 10 when he and the Twins took down Seattle on the road. More recently Pino was blitzed for seven runs on seven hits -- three home runs -- while striking out seven in 4 1/3 innings against Houston on August 12.

Game two has a more familiar face on the mound for the Tigers as Justin Verlander aims to get back to .500. Verlander, who has been hard-pressed to live up to his own standards after posting a 24-5 mark in 2011, has won only once in the last four outings.

On Aug. 11 the right-hander went up against Pittsburgh and was beaten around for four earned runs on four hits and a couple of walks, striking out three as he lasted just a single inning due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

Verlander, who has spent his entire 10-year career with Detroit, has a record of 14-8 and a 3.10 ERA in 28 all-time starts versus Minnesota.

While the Tigers know full well what they are getting with Verlander in the second game, the Twins are ready to throw out rookie Trevor May to counter. The right-hander, a fourth-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies back in 2008, is appearing in just his fourth major league contest.

May last pitched on Monday versus Kansas City, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. Now 0-2 with a whopping 9.00 ERA, May has displayed some serious control issues in his three games since being called up, issuing 13 walks while striking out only three batters.