Jordan Zimmermann's scoreless-inning streak is history, but baseball's ERA leader still has a chance to make some in his final April start.
Opposing hitters have done little of it against Zimmermann in his first four outings, and he will try to become the first Detroit Tigers pitcher in almost three decades to register five wins in April on Saturday against the host Minnesota Twins.
Zimmermann (4-0, 0.35 ERA) has dominated so far while wearing a Tigers uniform and opened the season with 24 1/3 scoreless innings, the longest streak by a Detroit pitcher to start a season and the longest to open a stint with the club.
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It ended, though, when he allowed three runs -- one earned -- in 6 2/3 innings of Monday's 7-3 win over Oakland -- moving his ERA to a still major league-leading 0.35 among qualifying pitchers.
"I had a good little stretch going," Zimmermann said. "Unfortunately it ended (Monday night). Hopefully I can start a new one."
If the right-hander finishes his fifth outing without allowing an earned run, he will be the first qualifying pitcher to enter May with a sub-0.35 ERA since Roger Clemens brought his 0.28 mark into the month in 1991.
Zimmermann can also become the fifth Detroit pitcher to record five wins in April and first since Frank Tanana in 1988 - the only one to do it in five appearances.
Doing so could help the Tigers (12-10) to their fourth straight win and fourth consecutive road victory against the last-place Twins (7-16).
Friday's series-opening 9-2 win was fueled by the bats as Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos homered as part of a season-high 18-hit attack.
The Tigers scored just 23 runs during a 2-7 slump but have totaled 33 during the 4-1 stretch that followed. Cabrera is hitting .455 with three home runs and six RBI in that span, while Martinez has multi-hit performances in four of his last six games while batting .478 with three homers, three doubles and eight RBI.
Cabrera's 36 home runs and 128 RBI against the Twins are second to only his 40 and 129 against Cleveland in his career. Martinez has 25 homers and 104 RBI against Minnesota.
The Tigers hope for more luck against Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey than they found in two chances against him last season.
As a rookie, Duffey (0-0, 2.25) limited Detroit to three runs in 12 1/3 innings between a pair of September victories. He did give up 15 hits but only five went for extra bases without any home runs. Castellanos went 3 for 6 in the matchup with two doubles, while J.D. Martinez went 3 for 5.
It was uncertain if Duffey would make this start after getting hit on his throwing shoulder by a line drive in Sunday's season debut in a 6-5 loss at Washington. He exited after four innings, allowing five hits and a solo homer, but is cleared to make his 12th career start Saturday.
"I'm ready to go," Duffey told MLB's official website. "It was frustrating having to come out of the game like that, but they were looking after my health. But I'm excited to go out there and pitch (Saturday)."
He hopes Minnesota's lineup can back him after totaling six singles and a double in the opener. The Twins rank toward the bottom of MLB with 3.43 runs per game and 210 strikeouts.
However, Joe Mauer has reached base safely in all 23 games, the longest streak in baseball. Mauer went 1 for 4 Friday and is batting .313 with an AL-leading .451 on base percentage.