Tigers, Twins open five-game series with doubleheader

MLB

After having a six-game winning streak snapped Wednesday at Milwaukee, the revitalized Detroit Tigers begin a five-game series in Minneapolis with a doubleheader Friday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins.

Left-hander Matthew Boyd (1-4, 7.27 ERA) will start the opener for the Tigers while Minnesota will counter with right-hander Randy Dobnak (5-2, 3.12) in a rematch of a pitching matchup that took place last Saturday in Detroit in a game won by the Tigers, 8-2.

That was the first victory since September 2019 for Boyd, who allowed two runs (one earned), including a 437-foot solo homer by Nelson Cruz, on four hits over six innings while striking out six to improve to 8-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 20 career starts against the Twins. He is 3-5 with a 6.02 ERA in nine starts at Target Field.

Dobnak, who is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three career appearances and two starts against Detroit, allowed career highs for runs (six) and hits (12) while also walking two and striking out one over 4 1/3 innings on Saturday.

Neither team has announced a starter for the second game, which will be a makeup of an Aug. 28 game that was rained out at Tiger Stadium. Detroit, which swept three games with the Twins last weekend, will be the home team for the contest and bat second.

Minnesota trailed first-place Cleveland by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central entering Thursday after winning the final two games of its three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, including an 8-1 victory on Wednesday night.

Miguel Sano homered and doubled off the wall in right-center and Eddie Rosario and Jake Cave also homered for the Twins, who welcomed back third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf strain) from the injured list.

Donaldson, who signed a four-year, $92 million free agent contract with Minnesota last January, singled and had a two-run double into the gap in right-center in his first two at-bats since July 31 and finished 2-for-5.

The Twins, who also got starting center fielder Byron Buxton back from the injured list on Tuesday, lost two starters to injury during Wednesday’s win. Right fielder Max Kepler pulled up slightly with left groin tightness after rounding third on Donaldson’s double and second baseman Luis Arraez, who had been battling a sore knee, left in the sixth inning after reaching base on an error. Marwin Gonzalez took over Kepler in right while Ehire Adrianza replaced Arraez at second.

“We don’t know enough right now on either guy to say anything definitely,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. “We’re going to wait and see before we can say anything else. For both guys, I think these are injuries that we can manage and/or won’t keep them off the field very long. I don’t see either of them as a long-term concern this year.”

Detroit, which like Minnesota enjoyed a day off on Thursday, blew a 4-0 lead in an 8-5 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday as Tigers pitchers combined to walk 10 batters and hit two others.

“That’s 12 free passes,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You don’t win many games that way.”

–Field Level Media

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