The Minnesota Twins are getting their offense back on track at the expense of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff and are closing in on the second American League wild card. The Twins will try to ride their hot bats to a four-game sweep when they visit the Tigers for the finale on Sunday.
Minnesota totaled six runs while dropping three straight at the New York Yankees to begin the road trip this week but pounded out 29 runs in taking the first three from the Tigers to cut its magic number to five. The Twins, who will likely have to go back to Yankee Stadium for the one-game wild card playoff, still have to head to Cleveland for three games against the AL-best Indians before finishing up the regular season at home against Detroit next weekend. The Tigers (62-93), who announced on Friday that manager Brad Ausmus would not be back next season as the rebuilding project continues, are losers of six straight to drop into last place in the AL Central behind the Chicago White Sox (62-92). Detroit will try to avoid the sweep behind Buck Farmer on Sunday while the Twins counter with fellow right-hander Jose Berrios.
TV: 12:10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jose Berrios (12-8, 3.94 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Buck Farmer (4-4, 7.11)
Berrios is winless in four starts this month and was knocked around for three runs and five hits over 3 1/3 innings to suffer a loss at New York on Tuesday. The Puerto Rico native is struggling with his control of late and issued eight walks in nine total innings over his last two outings. Berrios was lit up for six runs on as many hits and did not record a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings at Detroit on Aug. 12.
Farmer is not enjoying much success this month as well and lost his last two starts while allowing a total of nine runs - eight earned - and 10 hits across 6 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old is trying to lock up a spot in next season’s rotation but is surrendering an opposing batting average of .279 in nine starts. Farmer is seeing the Twins for the first time this season and is just 1-3 with an 11.65 ERA at home.
1. Twins RF Max Kepler (left hip) left Saturday’s game and will be re-evaluated on Sunday.
2. Detroit RHP Alex Wilson suffered a fractured shin when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Minnesota’s Joe Mauer on Saturday.
3. Minnesota DH Robbie Grossman is 4-for-10 with five RBIs and three runs scored in the series.
PREDICTION: Twins 6, Tigers 2