Major League Baseball
Detroit at Minnesota
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, July 21, 2017
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Detroit Tigers are below .500 after 94 games for the first time in 12 years, just traded away their leading home-run hitter and are coming off their most lopsided loss of the season, yet they find themselves in the thick of the American League Central race. The Tigers attempt to improve their standing in the division Friday, when they open a three-game road series against the Minnesota Twins.

Detroit (43-51) enters the set after one of its worst performances of the season, committing all three of its errors in one inning Thursday en route to a 16-4 defeat to split a four-game series at Kansas City one day after trading J.D. Martinez to Arizona for three prospects. Despite the setback, the Tigers are only 5 1/2 games behind Central-leading Cleveland and own a better record inside the division (22-18) than any of their rivals. Detroit won four of its six meetings in April with Minnesota, which is coming off its first home series victory against the New York Yankees in nearly nine years but has alternated wins and losses since the All-Star break. In spite of having the worst home record in the AL (22-29), the Twins sit only one-half game behind the Indians in the Central.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 6.08 ERA) vs. Twins RH Ervin Santana (11-6, 2.99)

Sanchez turned in his worst outing since joining the rotation five starts ago on Sunday against Toronto but escaped with a no-decision after permitting five runs and a season-high nine hits across six frames. The 33-year-old has logged at least six innings in four straight turns and been markedly more effective as a starter (3.99 ERA) than he was as a reliever (9.00). Brian Dozier is 7-for-32 with three homers against Sanchez, who is 5-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 20 career appearances (16 starts) versus the Twins.

Santana rebounded from a pair of losses with a win on Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits and a season high-tying five walks over six innings at Houston. The two-time All-Star has fallen off substantially since ending May with a 7-2 record and 1.75 ERA, going 4-4 with a 4.93 ERA in eight outings over the last two months. Ian Kinsler (23-for-71, three home runs) and Victor Martinez (12-for-37, two homers) both have fared well against Sanchez, who is 9-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 career starts against Detroit.


1. The Tigers' three errors in the first inning Thursday were their most in a frame since committing four in the fourth against the Los Angeles Angels on May 1, 2010.

2. The Twins reportedly are close to finalizing a deal to acquire Atlanta LHP Jaime Garcia for a prospect.

3. Detroit INF/OF Andrew Romine made his first career start in right field Thursday, leaving pitcher and catcher as the only positions he has yet to play this season.

PREDICTION: Twins 6, Tigers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Detroit 43-51 L2 25-21 18-30 10-10 22-18 7-17 4-6
Minnesota 48-46 W1 22-29 26-17 10-10 22-20 13-13 3-3
Last Meeting
Detroit Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/23/17 DET 13 MIN 4 .333 2 .961 .182 2 .644
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit J. Upton .316 6 1.195
Minnesota R. Grossman .312 5 .976
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit J. Upton 2 8 4
Minnesota M. Kepler 2 5 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 4.92 .250 45
Minnesota 5.02 .211 43
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit J. Upton .277 88 .860
Minnesota E. Rosario .285 83 .778
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit J. Upton 15 57 56
Minnesota M. Sano 23 60 66
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 4.91 .258 702
Minnesota 4.82 .251 646