With their spot at the bottom of the American League Central secured and the Minnesota Twins locked into the second AL wild card, the Detroit Tigers are trying to enjoy themselves over the final weekend of the regular season. The Tigers will try to say goodbye to manager Brad Ausmus with a win when they visit the Twins for the regular-season finale on Sunday.
Ausmus, who has already been informed that he won’t be returning next season, decided to use utilityman Andrew Romine at each of the nine positions on Saturday. “It made things light. It made things fun,” Romine told reporters. “We had something to look forward to. If it didn’t happen in Detroit, I‘m glad it happened here, because these fans, they respect sports, they respect other teams. It was fun to see the way that they acknowledged it. And when they said something, I got to acknowledge the fans, acknowledge the other dugout, to say thank you for letting me do that.” The Twins are trying to get everything lined up for Tuesday’s wild card game at the New York Yankees and won’t be pushing too hard on the final day of the season. Minnesota will send ageless veteran Bartolo Colon to the mound on Sunday while the Tigers counter with Anibal Sanchez.
TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, TBS, FSN Detroit, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (3-6, 6.46 ERA) vs. Twins RH Bartolo Colon (6-14, 6.72)
Sanchez is unlikely to re-sign with a rebuilding Detroit club and could be making his final appearance for the team. The Venezuela native is searching for his first win since Aug. 1 but is enjoying a string of three straight quality starts, during which he allowed a total of four runs while striking out 25 in 18 innings. Sanchez was not as sharp against Minnesota on Aug. 11, when he was roughed up for five runs and eight hits in six frames.
Colon could be making his final appearance with his current team as well and is 4-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 14 starts since joining the Twins. The 44-year-old was removed after one inning at Cleveland on Tuesday due to an illness and ended up allowing two runs on three hits. Colon is seeing the Tigers for the first time since joining Minnesota and is 2-3 with a 5.50 ERA in six starts at Target Field this year.
1. Romine is the fifth player in MLB history to play all nine positions in the same game.
2. Twins 3B Miguel Sano (shin) went 1-for-4 as the DH on Saturday and could be a candidate to earn a spot on the wild card roster.
3. Detroit 3B Jeimer Candelario (wrist) did not start on Saturday but appeared as a pinch hitter and could return to the starting lineup on Sunday.
PREDICTION: Tigers 6, Twins 1