Anibal Sanchez hopes to finally start paying dividends for Detroit when the Tigers open up a three-game set in the Twin Cities against the Minnesota Twins.
Sanchez, who was acquired along with Omar Infante from Miami in a five-player trade on July 23, has struggled with the Tigers thus far. The veteran is just 1-2 with a dismal 7.80 ERA in his first three starts with Detroit, and allowed seven runs in just three-plus innings in his last outing, a 12-8 loss against the New York Yankees.
The Tigers are two games behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central race after dropping two of three to Texas over the weekend.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI for Detroit in an 8-3 rubber match loss with the Rangers on Sunday, as the Tigers finished a 10-game homestand with a 6-4 mark.
Detroit had opened the residency with five straight wins before falling to earth and losing four of five.
Cabrera, meanwhile, is just one home run away from becoming the first Tigers player to hit at least 30 in five straight years. The slugger is also three RBI away from 100 and could become the third Detroit player to reach the 100 mark in five consecutive seasons and the first since Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer did it from 1932-36.
Minnesota comes in with a four-game losing streak and was swept by Tampa Bay in a three-game series over the weekend.
Jeff Keppinger's go-ahead RBI groundout highlighted a four-run top of the 10th inning on Sunday as the Rays earned a 7-3 triumph in the finale.
Justin Morneau blasted a two-run homer for the Twins, while Joe Mauer had an RBI single.
Rookie Samuel Deduno, who is 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA,in his first six starts, will try to stop the bleeding for the Twins on Monday. The righty is coming off his worst outing when he allowed fore funs in four innings in a 7-5 Minnesota win over Cleveland.
"When I had to throw a good pitch, I didn't make it," Deduno told the Twins' website after his last spotty outing.
On the injury front for Minnesota, outfielder Denard Span is day-to-day after injuring his right shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in Sunday's loss. On the other hand, third baseman Trevor Plouffe is ready to return from being on the disabled list with a bruised right thumb.
The Tigers have taken five of the nine games between the two clubs so far this season.