The American League Central-leading Tigers swept the White Sox and Indians in back-to-back series before taking the first two games of this set with Minnesota, including Saturday's 3-2 victory on Brandon Inge's game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"I like situations like that, I really do," said Inge. "You're not always going to come through, but there's something about those situations, knowing if you get the result how spectacular it is."
Wilson Betemit also had a solo homer for the Tigers, who remained 9 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for first place after the White Sox beat Cleveland in extra innings Saturday. Max Scherzer tossed seven shutout innings in the no-decision and Al Alburquerque struck out two in the ninth to improve to 6-1 on the season.
The Tigers haven't won a division title since capturing the East in 1987.
Doug Fister went 3-12 in 21 starts with Seattle before being dealt to Detroit and will make his eighth start of the season this afternoon for his new club. Fister is 4-1 with a 2.64 earned run average with the Tigers and is 3-0 in his previous four trips to the mound.
In Monday's 4-2 win at Cleveland, Fister was reached for just two runs - one earned -- and four hits in eight innings of work and struck out 13 batters. The righty lost to the Twins on May 24 this season and is 0-4 with a 4.10 ERA in four career starts against them. In 14 home starts with both Seattle and Detroit in 2011, Fister sports a 4-6 mark with a decent 2.71 ERA.
Minnesota has lost seven of eight and 16 of its last 20 games, and had the Tigers on the ropes until Glen Perkins served up Inge's homer in the ninth.
"Our bullpen did a good job. Perk made one bad pitch," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He got a fastball up, middle in, and Brandon was trying to do one thing. He got a fastball and didn't miss it."
Joe Mauer homered in a losing effort for the Twins.
Twins young hurler Scott Diamond will make his fifth career start today against the Tigers and so far is 1-3 with a 4.56 ERA in four outings. He earned his first major league win in a 7-6 triumph against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 31, hurling six innings of three-run ball, but fell back into the loss column in Monday's 4-0 loss versus the Pale Hose.
Diamond was roughed up a bit for a pair of runs over five innings. The lefty faced Detroit in an 8-1 loss on Aug. 26, when he permitted five runs, four of which were earned, and 10 hits through 6 1/3 frames.
Detroit is 13-4 against Minnesota this season.