Max Scherzer will take the ball for Detroit on Wednesday as the playoff-hopeful Tigers aim to take the rubber match of a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
The Tigers, who trail the Chicago White Sox by two games in the AL Central, dropped the opener of the set before rebounding with an 8-4 win on Tuesday.
Doug Fister tossed eight effective innings to lead the Tigers, allowing four unearned runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts as Detroit snapped a three-game slide.
"When you win you don't talk about those things," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said about the unearned runs. "If you lose a game like that then you probably talk a little more about the defense, but that's part of the game and those things happen."
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta each knocked in a pair of runs in the victory. Cabrera topped the 100 RBI mark for the fifth straight season, becoming the first Tiger to accomplish that feat since Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer from 1932-36.
Brian Duensing (2-8) pitched poorly early and ended up surrendering five runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings to take the loss for Minnesota.
"I don't know what the deal is with the first two innings. It's been like that for a little bit," Duensing said. "That's probably the most frustrating part because I feel like I'm really close to having that figured out. I don't know if I'm coming out too amped up or what."
Josh Willingham hit a three-run homer for the Twins, who have lost six of their last nine overall.
Scherzer, who has fanned eight or more in five consecutive starts, is just 2-1 with a dismal 6.28 ERA in seven career outings versus the Twins but both of those wins have come in his last three starts against Minnesota.
Scherzer's counterpart will be rookie Cole De Vries, who is coming off the worst performance of his career, surrendering eight runs in just 1 1/3 innings of a 12-6 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday.
"This is a flat-out forget one," the right-hander told the Twins' website. "I don't really see anything productive that I can take out of this one, outside of working on forgetting about things."
The Tigers have won six of the 11 meetings between the two clubs this season.