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Minnesota at Detroit

Venue: Comerica Park
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Short outings by starters have been the norm in this series between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins with the unsurprising exception of All-Star Justin Verlander.

Rick Porcello and Scott Diamond have provided length and effectiveness in each of their last two outings.

Those pitchers will each be in search of a third straight victory in Thursday's four-game series finale at Comerica Park.

Verlander is the only starter to last through the fifth inning in this series as he pitched a four-hitter for his fifth complete game Wednesday in a 5-1 victory that ended the Twins' season-high five-game win streak. Detroit (40-42) got stints of four innings from Doug Fister and 2 2-3 from Duane Below in dropping the first two games of this set.

"I watch what is going on with our team, and I knew our bullpen was beat up," Verlander said. "I knew I needed to give us at least seven or eight innings."

Minnesota (35-46), which fell to 4-1 at Comerica this season, has fared worse with its starters. Liam Hendriks lasted four-plus innings, Nick Blackburn four and Brian Duensing 4 1-3 on Wednesday before he exited with a bruised left ankle.

Both bullpens could get a break Thursday.

Porcello (6-5, 4.35 ERA) has yielded one run over 13 innings in back-to-back wins while Diamond (7-3, 2.63) has given up five over 16 in his two.

Porcello turned in his first scoreless effort of the season Saturday at Tampa Bay, allowing four hits with no walks over seven innings.

"It's good to get on a little bit of a roll, but I want to keep it going," he said.

The right-hander is 6-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 14 starts against Minnesota, with a 4.50 ERA and no decisions in two this year.

Porcello has had trouble with Denard Span (9 for 26), Jamey Carroll (6 for 15) and Ben Revere (6 for 16), but not with Joe Mauer (5 for 22) or Justin Morneau (3 for 21).

Diamond enters after surrendering two runs over eight innings Saturday in a 7-2 win over Kansas City.

"I was feeling confident earlier, this is just icing on the cake I guess," Diamond said. "I'm pretty happy to be able to just keep going out."

The left-hander went 0-2 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against Detroit last year, with Miguel Cabrera going 3 for 5 against him.

Cabrera homered twice and drove in three runs Wednesday. He's 13 for 30 with three homers and 13 RBIs against the Twins this year.

"I think Cabrera saw two fastballs all day, and one went over the center-field fence and the other went over the right-field fence," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's not smart pitching."

Both teams' center fielders and leadoff hitters have fared well in the season series. Span is 10 for 27 while the Tigers' Austin Jackson, batting .413 with 14 runs scored during an 11-game hit streak, is 7 for 14.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Scott Diamond, HP
2012 stats
72.0 Innings Pitched 93.0
7-3 Wins-Losses 6-5
2.63 Earned Run Average 4.35
11 Walks 23
41 Strikeouts 57
95 Pitches Per Start 93
Career vs. opponent
12.1 Innings Pitched 82.1
0-2 Wins-Losses 6-4
3.65 Earned Run Average 3.06

Rick Porcello, RHP
Weather
weather image  Mostly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
92°F73°F5mph/SW61%28%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Minnesota5th AL Central4757.452113-7 W 1
Detroit1st AL Central5745.559-4-6 L 3
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Rick Porcello
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Willingham85031.625
Doumit42011.500
Carroll156010.400
Revere166020.375
Span269022.346
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Scott Diamond
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Cabrera53010.600
Avila31002.333
Raburn62002.333
Young62000.333
Jackson62012.333
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Minnesota 135 Detroit -145
Injuries
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
K. GibsonBack
P. HughesShin
J. MauerOblique
R. NolascoElbow
M. PelfreyGroin
Detroit
PlayerInjury
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21DETCHW 3-1Danks Sanchez 
Apr 22DETDET 8-6Verlander Leesman 
Apr 23DETCHW 6-4Rienzo Reed 
Apr 24DETDET 7-4Scherzer Quintana 
Apr 29CHWDET 4-3Chamberlain Belisario 
Apr 30CHWDET 5-1Scherzer Noesi 
Jun 9CHWCHW 6-5Noesi Porcello 
Jun 10CHWPPD   
Jun 11CHWCHW 8-2Danks Verlander 
Jun 12CHWDET 4-0Scherzer Sale 
Jul 29DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Jul 30DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Jul 31DET 1:08 PM EDT  
Aug 29CHW 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 30CHW 1:10 PM EDT  
Aug 30CHW 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31CHW 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 22DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 23DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 24DET 1:08 PM EDT