THREE-GAME SERIES AT COMERICA PARK
Tonight, 6:05 p.m. FSN 1500-AM
LHP Francisco Liriano (7-9, 5.00 ERA) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (11-7, 4.93)
Tuesday, 6:05 p.m. FSN 1500-AM
RHP Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.36) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.35)
Wednesday, 6:05 p.m. FSN 1500-AM
RHP Carl Pavano (6-9, 4.55) vs. RHP Brad Penny (8-9, 4.99)
The chase for elusive home run No. 600 continues for Jim Thome, who has been stuck on 598 homers since Aug. 4, a span of 27 plate appearances. Including old Tiger Stadium, Thome has his 25 home runs in 100 games in Detroit during his career. He is 1-for-6 against Rick Porcello, is batting .239 with seven homers against Justin Verlander and 4-for-15 with one homer against Brad Penny. ... The Twins are only 1-8 against the Tigers this season. The last time the Twins were in Detroit on May 30-June 1, they lost three games by a total of four runs, which pushed them back 16 1/2 games at the time. It was right before the Twins played their best ball of the season, winning 15 of their next 17 games. ... The last time the Twins lost a season series to Detroit was 2007. ... With 20 steals, Ben Revere is tied for fourth on the Twins' rookie steals list with Marty Cordova. Luis Rivas leads with 31 steals in 2001.
Verlander is the favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award. He leads the league in wins, strikeouts (196) and batting average against (.185). He's won three of his past four decisions against the Twins. ... Reliever Al Alburquerque has been a revelation, going 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA and holding opponents to a .141 batting average. But he was struck above the left ear Friday during batting practice and is on the seven-day disabled list for concussions. Righthander Ryan Perry was called up to replace him. Perry can hit 95 miles per hour and also throws a hard slider. ... Both Victor Martinez and Magglio Ordonez homered off Blackburn the last time they faced him. Martinez is tearing the Twins apart this year, batting .410 with two homers and 11 RBI against them. His 16 hits off Twins pitching are his most against any opponent. ... Detroit placed Carlos Guillen on the disabled list Sunday (sore wrist), his fifth trip to the DL in three seasons.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III