MLB Game Preview - Tigers v Twins

MLB Baseball
Scoreboard|Postseason|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Detroit0 0 0 0 0 5 0 2 2 9170
Minnesota1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 690
  W: D. VerHagen (4-2)   L: J. Berríos (10-7)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, August 23, 2019
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 31,238

Twins look to turn tide ahead of series opener vs. Tigers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

  1. Minnesota has gone 27-13 in its last 40 games against Detroit, though the teams have alternated wins and losses in each of the last seven contests. After failing to homer in their first game against the Tigers this season, the Twins have hit multiple homers in six of eight games since.
  2. The Twins have scored 14 and zero runs in their last two games, respectively. Minnesota has scored 14+ runs six times this season, tied with the Nationals for most in MLB. Minnesota has been shut out three times this season -- only the Yankees (none) and A's (twice) have been shut out fewer times.
  3. The Tigers have scored four runs or fewer in nine consecutive games -- the only longer streaks in the AL this season have been by themselves (10 in May) and the Rays (10 in July). The Giants scored four or fewer in 11 straight games in May, the longest streak in MLB this season.
  4. Nelson Cruz is slashing .450/.500/1.100 in August. No player has finished a calendar month (min. 40 PA) with an OPS of at least 1.600 since Barry Bonds (August 2004).
  5. Travis Demeritte, who debuted August 2, leads the Tigers with 10 runs scored in August. Through 20 career games he has 10 runs, seven extra-base hits and four stolen bases -- the last players to meet these marks through 20 career games were Fernando Tatis Jr (2019) and Carlos Correa (2015).
  6. Miguel Cabrera hit .304 prior to the All-Star break and has hit .223 since. Jorge Polanco hit .312 before the break and has hit .257 since. Among qualifying AL infielders, these are the largest and third-largest declines in batting average (Elvis Andrus is second).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/23/2019 thru 8/25/2019

The American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins, who have struggled at home recently, open a three-game series on Friday night against a team that on paper could be the perfect opponent to turn things around against.

Minnesota, which is 2-7 in its last nine games at Target Field in Minneapolis, hosts the Detroit Tigers, who are 38 games behind the Twins in the standings in last place in the AL Central.

Detroit also owns the worst road record in the majors (17-43). The Tigers, who lost at Houston, 6-3, on Thursday night while the Twins enjoyed a day off, are 2-5 on their current 10-game road trip.

Right-hander Jose Berrios (10-6, 3.37 ERA) will start for Minnesota while right-hander Drew VerHagen (3-2, 6.67) will make his first career start against the Twins.

Minnesota comes in off a 4-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon, managing just three hits off Lucas Giolito while being shut out for the third time this season.

"He's a tough customer, and he was on his game," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said of Giolito to "He pounded the strike zone, but he also has elite stuff, too. He made it tough for us from the get-go. We weren't really able to get much going off of him."

The Twins managed just a pair of singles -- one on a bunt by Jorge Polanco -- until Jonathan Schoop doubled with one out in the eighth inning. Giolito finished with 12 strikeouts in the complete-game victory.

"He didn't bite himself in the foot in any way," said Baldelli. "He kept bringing it to us, and today we just didn't have the answer for him."

Baldelli no doubt is hoping to have similar comments about his ace after Friday night's contest. Berrios, who was 8-2 on June 6 en route to an All-Star Game invite, is just 2-4 since and comes in off a no-decision at Texas on Saturday despite being staked to an 8-2 lead in the second inning. He allowed seven runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out six in a game the Twins won, 12-7.

"I think he deserved better than what his line's going to end up looking like after this game," Baldelli said.

Still, it was the third straight start that Berrios failed to garner a victory and the second in that span that he allowed at least seven runs. He gave up a career-high nine earned runs on nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings in a 12-7 home loss to the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 6.

Berrios is 4-1 with a 6.25 ERA in eight career appearances and seven starts against Detroit. He won his only start against the Tigers this season, 6-4, on April 14 when he allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven.

VerHagen is 0-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 12 career appearances against Minnesota. He threw one inning of shutout relief against the Twins in his only appearance this season on April 13 in a 4-3 loss.

It will be fourth start of the season for VerHagen, who allowed three hits in five innings of shutout relief to pick up the win in a 2-0 victory at Tampa Bay last Saturday.

"VerHagen was unbelievable against a really good team," said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire.

--Field Level Media

Updated August 23, 2019

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