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Twinkies at D-town game Uno

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Time: 7:05 p.m. EST Venue: Comerica Park

GAME: Minnesota Twins (57-57) at Detroit Tigers (30-82).

TIME: Friday, 7:05 p.m. EDT.

The Minnesota Twins look to continue their recent domination of the Detroit Tigers and hand starter Mike Maroth his major league-leading 16th loss as the teams open a three-game series at Comerica Park.

The Twins have won 17 of 18 games against the Tigers over the last two seasons. Most recently, Minnesota took two of three from Detroit at the Metrodome last weekend, outscoring the Tigers 17-6 in their two wins.

The Tigers' 9-2 victory Saturday snapped a 16-game losing streak against the Twins and was their first win against their AL Central rivals since May 2, 2002.

"Eventually, this isn't college football," Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said. "They're major league baseball players over there."

Of course, the Tigers haven't always played like big leaguers this season - Thursday's 3-2 win over Barry Zito and the Oakland Athletics was just their 30th of the season, while every other team in baseball has at least 40.

The Tigers are on pace to threaten the modern major league record of 120 losses, set by the 1962 New York Mets.

Maroth is also trying to avoid a dubious distinction. He and teammate Jeremy Bonderman, who avoided his 16th loss with a win Thursday, are on pace to become the first 20-game losers since Oakland's Brian Kingman in 1980.

Maroth earned the win Saturday in Detroit's victory over Minnesota, giving up just one earned run and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. However, manager Alan Trammell said that Maroth's outing wasn't particularly strong.

"(Maroth) struggled all night and that's why we made a change early," he said. "He was really fortunate and he made some pitches when he needed to and they hit some balls at us. But the fact of the matter is, every inning it seems he had two guys on. Or three."

The Twins lost to the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 on Thursday. Torii Hunter homered for Minnesota, which failed to move two games above .500 for the first time since July 2.

Eric Munson homered on Thursday for the Tigers, who have lost three of four.

STANDINGS (through Aug. 6): Twins - 3rd place, 3½ GB, AL Central. Tigers - 5th place, 30½ GB, AL Central.

TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Johan Santana (5-3, 3.46 ERA). Santana gave up two earned runs and five hits in six innings of Sunday's 7-2 win over Detroit - his first victory since June 13. In eight career appearances, including two starts, against the Tigers, he is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA - his second-best mark against any American League team.

TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Maroth (6-15, 5.20 ERA). In four career starts against Minnesota, Maroth is 1-3 with a 4.56 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Jacque Jones, .305 avg.; Hunter, 20 HRs and 72 RBIs; Shannon Stewart, 64 runs; Cristian Guzman, 13 SBs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .288 avg., 22 HRs, 60 RBIs and 54 runs; Alex Sanchez, 25 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Twins, 8-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - OF Jones, who is returning from a groin injury, left Thursday's game in the fourth inning as a precaution because the field was slick from rain. ... Since being activated from the disabled list Monday, 3B Corey Koskie, who missed 14 games with a bulging disk in his back, has gone 6-for-15 (.400) with three runs and an RBI. ... INF Denny Hocking started at shortstop Thursday in place of SS Guzman because manager Ron Gardenhire wanted him to get some at-bats. Tigers - Detroit is 5-15 since the All-Star break. ... LHP Maroth is 1-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 10 home starts this season. ... 3B Munson went 5-for-11 (.455) with five RBIs, two runs and two homers in the three-game series with the A's.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 25-30 on the road; Tigers - 14-39 at home.

INJURIES: Twins - OF Lew Ford (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 60-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (elbow), 60-day DL. Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; IF Dean Palmer (shoulder, back), 60-day DL.

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Minnesota

S. Stewart lf .318

L. Rivas 2b .276

D. Mientkiewicz 1b .299

C. Koskie 3b .302

M. LeCroy dh .282

T. Hunter cf .246

A.J. Pierzynski c .299

M. Restovich rf .333

C. Guzman ss .260

Detroit

B. Petrick cf .222

B. Inge c .152

B. Higginson rf .245

D. Young dh .288

C. Monroe lf .228

C. Pena 1b .256

E. Munson 3b .242

S. Halter 2b .216

R. Santiago ss .218

Minnesota

J. Santana 3.46

Detroit

M. Maroth 5.20

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Stewart strikes out, Rivas flies out to left, Mientkiewicz strikes out, 0-0 mid 1st

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I think Inge is batting second so that he isn't back-to-back with fellow rally-killer rrrrrrRamon, especially with Pena and Munson (Nos. 6 & 7) hitting well as of late.

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Inge with a double. Of course the RFer kinda misplayed the ball, but Inge tattooed it pretty good.

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Petrick grounds out, Inge hits a double, Inge is caught off of 2nd, Higginson flies out to center, 0-0 after 1 inning

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Koskie grounds out, LeCroy grounds out, Hunter pops out, 0-0 mid 2nd

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Young strikes out, Monroe flies out to center, Pena strikes out, 0-0 after 2 innings

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Pierzynski hits a double, Restovich hits a triple, Pierzynski scores, Guzman flies out to left, Restovich tags up and scores, Stewart hits a single, Stewart steals 2nd, Rivas is safe at 1st on a munson error, Stewart is thrown out at 3rd, Rivas takes 2nd, Mientkiewicz hits a single, Rivas scores, Mientkiewicz is picked off of 1st, 3-0 Twins mid 3rd

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That was horrendous defense by the Tigers in the 3rd inning. Petrick can't hold Pierzynski to a single. Higginson misplays a flyball into a triple, Maroth can't field a comebacker, Munson airmails a throw to first and Minnesota scores 3 runs.

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Don't you love that "save" rule? Guardado comes in with a 3-run lead, gets smoked for a 2-run homer by Monroe, and picks up the save.

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Yeah, but I bet the Red Sox wish they had him all year. And I bet the Royals wouldn't mind him right about now, too.

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The Twins stunk up the joint tonight in the 4-3 win...they commited 2 errors and had a runner picked off and another thrown out at 3rd base...that shows how bad the Tigers are. They still lost

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Very disappointing loss. Three plays made the difference. Inge getting picked off, Munson error that allowed the Twins to get an extra run, Santiago grounding into DP with runners on 1st and 3rd. Very disappointed that Tram didn't pull Inge's ***** after getting picked off. I guess getting picked off of 2nd is acceptable. Santiago is digging is own grave.

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He's the first guy to make a mistake all year. Maybe we should have pulled Petrick after he let Pierzynski take two on a ground ball single up the middle or for Higginson jogging after that Triple that tipped off his glove that led to a 3 run inning. Don't forget those.

There's plenty of blame to go around.

Bottom line is we had another well pitched game. And that's alot better than we have been doing.

We have alot of selective memories around here.

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On the replay it did look like Petrick was hustling to get that ball. IOt was just hit in a weird place. And of course, he rushed his throw...

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So is Petrick only playing outfield? Is he done at catcher or what? If he can't play catcher then the trade is less important. I still like him and I'm glad they got him though. Hopefully he can hit.

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I'm assuming Petrick will finish the year in the OF and then go to winterball like Munson did for third base and learn how to catch. Then in Spring Training Parrish will probably work with him.

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