The White Sox got another three-run homer in the eighth inning, this time from Paul Konerko, to defeat Cleveland 6-4 earlier this afternoon, so the Twins' lead is back to 3 1/2 games.
The Tigers have hard-throwing righthander Max Scherzer on the mound tonight. In his last start, he held the Blue Jays to one run over eight innings last Thursday in Toronto.
Francisco Liriano also is coming off a good start (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K last Thursday in Texas, opposite Cliff Lee).
The Twins sent Double-A pitcher Loek Van Mil to the Angels today, completing their trade for Brian Fuentes. Player-for-player that looks like a very good trade, but the Twins absorbed about $1.9 million in salary, which will seem especially expensive if Fuentes' back injury keeps him out for a long portion of these final five weeks.
I'll have updates on Fuentes, Jason Kubel and Orlando Hudson ASAP. Kubel (sore wrist) and Hudson (sore foot) are not in the lineup, but Jim Thome has returned.
Update: Thome was scratched. Jose Morales now the DH. Danny Valencia moves up to sixth in the batting order.
Update: It sounds like Kubel (bruised left wrist), Hudson (strained right ankle) and Fuentes (lower-back stiffness) will be out for days, not weeks, but I wouldn't expect them to play for the rest of this series, at least. Thome's back stiffened up on him when he tried running pregame. Hudson had an MRI, which showed inflammation. Fuentes felt better today. Kubel said he won't pick up a bat today.
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Will Rhymes, 2B
3. Casper Wells, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Jhonny Peralta, DH
6. Brandon Inge, 3B
7. Ramon Santiago, SS
8. Brennan Boesch, RF
9. Gerald Laird, C
Starting pitcher: RH Max Scherzer (10-9, 3.60 ERA)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Jose Morales, DH
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. J.J. Hardy, SS
Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano (12-7, 3.41 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network