Detroit Tigers lineup vs. Minnesota Twins: Miguel Cabrera DHing in series opener

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers (32-41) vs. Minnesota Twins (38-38)

When: 6:40 p.m. Friday, series opener.

Where: Comerica Park in Detroit.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1 in Detroit; Tigers radio affiliates).

Probable pitchers: Tigers LHP Joey Wentz (1-7, 6.82 ERA) vs. Twins RHP Kenta Maeda (0-4, 9.00).

• Box score

Tigers lineup

1. RF Zach McKinstry.

2. 1B Spencer Torkelson.

3. LF Kerry Carpenter.

4. SS Javier Báez.

5. 3B Nick Maton.

6. CF Matt Vierling.

7. DH Miguel Cabrera.

8. 2B Zack Short.

9. C Jake Rogers.

LHP Joey Wentz.

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Game notes: The Tigers go into their series against the AL Central-leading Twins — yes, still, despite a .500 record — 4½ back. The Twins, who have suffered all sorts of injuries — no word on whether, like A.J. Hinch, manager Rocco Baldelli is also “not a doctor” — but they’re getting some help back off the injured list in right-hander Kenta Maeda. The 35-year-old righty missed seven weeks with a right triceps strain; he has made four starts in the majors this season, including a bomb on April 26 in which he allowed 10 runs in just three innings — aka nine outs — to the Yankees in Minneapolis. In his four Triple-A rehab starts, including a 4⅓-inning stint last Friday, he has a 2.03 ERA with 17 strikeouts and ve walks over 13⅓ innings.

Maeda has a career 3.69 ERA in 46⅓ innings against the Tigers, though that might be underselling it a bit; he has 58 strikeouts and just seven walks allowed in those eight starts. This is one game when the Tigers could use Akil Baddoo; the outfielder is 4-for-10 lifetime against Maeda with a double, two triples and a home run. The six active Tigers on the 26-man roster who’ve faced Maeda are just 14-for-59 (.237) with a double and a two homers (both in 2020 by Miguel Cabrera and Jonathan Schoop).

For the Tigers, Joey Wentz’s 15th appearance of the season will be his fourth career game vs. the Twins; he allowed just one hit in 4⅓ innings on May 31, 2022, followed by two runs on two hits in 4 2/3 innings last October and two runs on two hits in six innings on Saturday in Minneapolis. That outing last week — the Tigers’ lone loss in the four-game series — also featured nine strikeouts and just one walk allowed by Wentz.

After tonight’s opener, the series continues with a night game Saturday — and a rare 7:15 p.m. start — before finishing up at 1:40 on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers then head right down to Arlington, Texas, for four games against the AL West-leading Rangers — who are most definitely NOT at .500 — from Monday-Thursday. The Twins, meanwhile, continue east to Atlanta to face the NL East-leading Braves (also well ABOVE .500).

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Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.  

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