Tigers hand Fister ball at Minnesota

Doug Fister aims to finally tame the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday and help the struggling Detroit Tigers avoid a fourth straight loss when the two teams play the middle contest of a three-game set at Target Field.

Samuel Deduno pitched seven-plus strong innings to remain unbeaten and Darin Mastroianni sparkled in a highlight night with a homer and three RBI as Minnesota routed Detroit, 9-3, in the opener of the series on Monday.

Mastroianni also made a diving catch in the eighth inning to slow a Tigers rally. Ryan Doumit smacked a three-run homer, as the Twins snapped a four-game slide.

Deduno (4-0), who made his seventh major league start and 13th appearance, surrendered five hits and three runs while fanning six batters.

"He kept those guys off balance all night," Doumit said.

Anibal Sanchez (1-3) was pelted for a season-high 12 hits and five runs over 5 1/3 innings, as the Tigers dropped their third in a row and their fifth in six tries after a six-game winning streak. Detroit remains two games behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.

"So far he hasn't really gotten the ball down," Tigers manager Jim Leyland commented on Sanchez, who was acquired from the Marlins on July 23. "I certainly know he's a better pitcher than what he's shown so far."

Fister has pitched well since the All-Star break but traditionally struggles against the Twins. The right-hander is 4-1 with a gaudy 1.79 ERA since the Midsummer Classic but is just 1-6 with a 4.36 ERA during his career against Minnesota.

Opposing Fister will be the struggling Brian Duensing, who is a dismal 1-5 with a 6.12 ERA as a starter this season. In his last effort the left-hander allowed six runs -- four earned -- on 11 hits over seven innings during a 6-2 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Tigers and Twins have spilt 10 meetings so far this season.