Both the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins know they likely won’t be getting a lot of mileage from their starting pitchers on Tuesday when the teams clash in the middle contest of a three-game set in Minneapolis.
For Detroit, the game will mark the return of second-year starter Matt Manning, back after spending more than three months on the disabled list with biceps and shoulder injuries.
Manning (0-0, 2.25 ERA), who last pitched in a major league game on April 16, tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. That performance signaled that he is ready to give it a go for the Tigers in hopes he can be a contributor for the rest of the season.
Given the layoff, though, it’s a good bet the Tigers won’t ask him to do too much.
“I feel like I’m debuting all over again,” Manning said, according to the Detroit News. “I’ve never had to do rehab during the middle of the season before. Just watching Tigers games on television every day and see the state of the team, you just want to be there with those guys.”
Manning will be making his third start of the season. In two career starts against the Twins, both last year, he went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
The Twins will counter with veteran Chris Archer, who will be making his third start since coming off of the injured list. He had been sidelined due to left hip tightness.
Archer (2-4, 4.04) hasn’t been durable this year. His season high is five innings, and he has failed to go past four innings in four of his past six starts.
In his two starts since returning, Archer has given 10 runs and walked seven in 7 2/3 innings.
“The one thing I can say is it’s unacceptable and I’ve got to be better,” Archer said after losing to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, when he gave up six runs and walked six in three-plus innings. “In (six) days, I’m going to be significantly better, I can tell you that.”
What might work in Archer’s favor as he attempts to rebound is that he’s going up against the worst offense in the majors. Detroit sits at the bottom in runs (334), homers (63) and OPS (.620).
Archer has already made two starts against the Tigers this year. He allowed one run, walked two and struck out four in four innings on May 23 in a 5-4 Minnesota win.
Archer yielded one run and three hits in five innings on June 2 during a 3-2 loss at Detroit. He is 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 career starts vs. the Tigers.
The Twins will try to continue their home dominance this season against the Tigers.
Minnesota has won six of the past seven meetings between the teams in Minneapolis and is 9-5 in the season series overall.
The Twins had lost four of five games overall before earning a 5-3, 10-inning victory over the Tigers on Monday. Minnesota’s Gio Urshela socked a two-run, game-ending homer off Alex Lange.
Detroit enters having lost four of its past five games and is a season-worst 22 games under .500.
–Field Level Media