Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins blanked in Detroit

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: September 22, 2012 - 2:22 PM

FINAL: Doug Fister earns his first career shutout, defeating the Twins 8-0. Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a home run, his 42nd of the season to tie Josh Hamilton atop the American League. Cabrera now leads the AL in all three Triple Crown categories.

More to come.

DETROIT -- With Josh Hamilton out for the weekend, at least, with a sinus problem, Miguel Cabrera’s path to become baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 looks even clearer.

Cabrera leads the AL in batting average (.333) and RBI (130) and has 40 home runs, trailing Hamilton by one. It’ll be interesting to see how many hittable pitches Cabrera gets in Detroit’s final 13 games. I know the Twins are going to be careful with him in their remaining six games with the Tigers because they are playing to win, knowing the integrity of the pennant race is far more important than the Triple Crown.

The Tigers are within 1 1/2 games of the White Sox again after Chicago lost in Anaheim late Friday night 6-2. In the MVP race, Mike Trout had another terrific game, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two more runs scored. That’s 120 runs scored in 128 games for Trout.

Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire had Jamey Carroll at second base on Friday against Detroit's Rick Porcello, before the rainout, but with the Tigers switching to Doug Fister, the swtich-hitting Alexi Casilla will get the start. Carroll is 1-for-8 lifetime against Fister, and Casilla is 3-for-11.

Update: Matt Capps, who has been rehabbing his right shoulder injury, will rejoin the Twins on Monday and could be available to pitch during the Yankees series.

Update: Here are Gardenhire's thoughts on potentially having to walk Cabrera: "We have to play to win. I can’t manage that way [thinking about the Triple Crown]. I think everybody knows I have total respect for the guy, and I think he’s the best player in our league, but when it comes down to winning, and there are a lot of other teams involved here, we have to do what’s right for a baseball game.

"I can’t worry about people wanting to see a Triple Crown winner. I have to try to do whatever it takes to beat the Tigers.
“If that’s walking him to get to the next guy [Prince Fielder] -- who can absolutely kill you, too -- I’ll do it. I know people pay to come watch this guy; I come to watch him walk to first base -- hopefully not all the way around the bases.”

Update:

The Tigers have announced that Max Scherzer will pitch Game 1 on Sunday with Drew Smyly pitching Game 2. That's big news for Detroit, as Scherzer left Tuesday's start with right shoulder fatigue.

Update: The ground crew is removing the tarp from the field here 45 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. That's a good sign that this one might be able to start on time, and the forecast looks good for getting in both games on Sunday.

TWINS (62-88)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Samuel Deduno (6-4, 3.84 ERA)

TIGERS (79-70)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Quintin Berry, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Andy Dirks, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Omar Infante, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Doug Fister (9-9, 3.65 ERA)

Comerica Park. First pitch: 3:05 p.m. (Central). TV: Fox (Ch. 9). Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib

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