Detroit Tigers lineup vs. Minnesota Twins: McKinstry leading off, Lorenzen on the mound

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers (33-42) vs. Minnesota Twins (39-39)

When: 12:10 p.m. Sunday, series finale (moved up from 1:40 due to inclement weather forecast).

Where: Comerica Park in Detroit.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

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

Probable pitchers: Tigers RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-5, 4.00) vs. Twins RHP Bailey Ober (4-4, 2.83).

• Box score

Tigers lineup:

  1. RF Zach McKinstry
  2. 1B Spencer Torkelsom
  3. DH Kerry Carpenter
  4. SS Javier Báez
  5. 3B Nick Maton
  6. 2B Andy Ibáñez
  7. LF Matt Vierling
  8. C Jake Rogers
  9. CF Jake Marisnick

SATURDAY’S VICTORY: Reese Olson sharp, Alex Lange slams door in Detroit Tigers’ 3-2 win over Minnesota Twins

Game notes: The Tigers (and starter Michael Lorenzen) could have a secret weapon in today’s series finale — Bailey Ober. Oh, not that the Twins’ starter is bad — far from it, as he’s mostly been dominant since his call-up from Triple-A in late April, with a 1.021 WHIP bolstered by a supremely low .218 opponent batting average on balls in play (BABIP). That could mean he’s been a bit lucky, but with just 14 walks allowed over 62⅔ innings, he has made the most of said luck.

But, no, the Tigers’ advantage is that whenever Ober takes the mound, the Twins’ bats seem to go to sleep. Minnesota is averaging just 2.63 runs per game when he pitches, with just 16 runs scored for him while he’s in the game — in 11 starts; he has allowed three or less runs in nine of those starts, but is just 4-2 in them. (The other two losses on his record came when he allowed four runs in five innings against the Giants on May 22 and four runs in 5⅓ innings against the Rays on June 8 — far from cardinal sins.)

One Tigers hitter who could be excited to face Ober: Zack Short. The infielder is 2-for-3 in his career, with a homer and a single. Short homered off an 0-1 pitch at Target Field in Minneapolis on July 10, 2021, then singled off Ober in the fifth inning at Comerica Park on Aug. 30, 2021. (Between those two place appearances, he popped out foul to the catcher on Aug. 30 — nobody’s perfect.)

Meanwhile, Lorenzen doesn’t have much of a track record against the Twins; they’ve slashed .167/.333/.250 against him, but in just 15 plate appearances. Lorenzen has allowed one run with seven strikeouts and one walk in six innings spread over three relief appearances.

After today’s matinee, the Tigers ship out to Texas, where they’ll face the AL West-leading Rangers for four games beginning Monday night. The Twins, meanwhile, get a division leader of their own, travelling to Atlanta to face the NL East kingpins for three games, also beginning Monday.

TIGERS NEWSLETTER: Why opening acts are all the rage around MLB

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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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