Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson owns an ugly 7.01 ERA in five starts against the Detroit Tigers this season, but he will look to win his seventh consecutive decision when the teams open a three-game series in Motown on Friday night. Gibson looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact when he faces the Tigers for the second time in eight days.
The Twins locked up the second wild card Wednesday night and chose to sit a number of starters in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Cleveland, a scenario that could repeat itself over the weekend. “We want to give some of these guys a little bit of a break, but also keep them sharp. It’s a little tricky,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “We’ll have further conversations about pitching over the next four days as we might best set ourselves up for a roster on Tuesday.” The Tigers can finally exhale after snapping a nine-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over Kansas City — their fifth win in 26 games this month. Nicholas Castellanos drove in three runs Thursday while registering multiple hits for the 13th time in his last 22 games.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Matthew Boyd (6-10, 5.12 ERA) vs. Twins RH Kyle Gibson (12-10, 5.02)
Boyd is finishing on a high note, permitting only two runs over 20 2/3 innings over his last three starts, although he is 1-1 in that span. The 26-year-old did not factor in the decision against Minnesota last time out, giving up two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 strong innings. Brian Dozier is 11-for-27 with two homers against Boyd, who gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings versus the Twins on Aug. 13.
Gibson was hammered by Detroit for 12 runs in 6 2/3 innings in a pair of starts in April, but he won his second in a row over the Tigers by giving up three runs on seven hits over seven innings in his last turn. It was his sixth quality start in the past seven outings for the 29-year-old, who is 6-7 with a 5.65 ERA at Target Field. Ian Kinsler is 13-for-40 with a pair of home runs against Gibson.
1. Tigers LF Alex Presley has hit safely in five straight games.
2. Twins RF Max Kepler is 8-for-22 over the past five games.
3. Tigers 3B Jeimer Candelario, batting .354 in September, was held out of Thursday’s game with a jammed left wrist.
PREDICTION: Tigers 5, Twins 4