The Detroit Tigers will go for their sixth consecutive victory and look to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers had dropped five of six before turning things around on the current six-game homestand, outscoring opponents 35-11 in the five-game run. During that span, Detroit has 11 homers and its pitching staff tied an American League record with five straight games of at least 10 strikeouts.
The Twins have scratched out 12 hits and struck out 20 times in the first two games of the series. Catcher Joe Mauer snapped an 0-for-21 skid but has gone without an extra-base hit for 11 games. Minnesota has been held to three runs or fewer in four of the five games against Detroit. The Twins will face a tough pitching matchup when they send left-hander Scott Diamond to the mound to oppose Detroit's Anibal Sanchez.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins LH Scott Diamond (1-2, 4.32 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 1.34)
Diamond will be making his fourth start of the season. He was shaky last time out, giving up 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings against Texas, but he minimized the damage and allowed only three runs. Diamond is 1-2 with a 2.67 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers. He turned in three strong efforts against Detroit last year, permitting five earned runs and 15 hits in 21 1/3 innings. He has held Prince Fielder to one hit in nine at-bats but Miguel Cabrera is 7-for-14 against him.
Sanchez turned in one of the best-pitched games of the season in his last outing, striking out 17 and walking only one in eight scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves. He has surrendered only six runs (five earned) in his five starts, including five scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Minnesota in his season debut. Sanchez was hit hard by the Twins in August last year, but limited them to one run in 6 1/3 innings at the end of September. He has yet to face Minnesota at Comerica Park.
1. Cabrera finished April with 28 RBIs, the most by a Detroit player in the month since at least 1921. Fielder was right behind with 27 RBIs.
2. Mauer is 4-for-8 lifetime against Sanchez.
3. Detroit has received quality starts in 15 of the last 17 games.
PREDICTION: Tigers 5, Twins 2 Stats and RecordsTeam Comparison