David Price got back on track quickly after one of his least effective performances in the past two months and will try to keep his win streak intact in his final start before the All-Star break.
A matchup with Minnesota could help Price, given his recent outings against the Twins, and he’ll try to deny them a fourth consecutive win Thursday night.
Price (8-2, 2.54 ERA) was charged with four earned runs for the first time in 10 starts since May 8 in a 5-4 win against the Chicago White Sox on June 28, but he rebounded with an 8-3 victory versus Toronto on Saturday by yielding one run — on a solo homer — in seven innings.
"I felt good. That’s a tough team. They score runs in bunches so I’m definitely very happy with the outcome," the left-hander said.
Price will head to his fifth All-Star Game next week but first will try to earn a fifth consecutive win. He enters this matchup with a 1.90 ERA during his win streak — which has covered six outings — and also has a 1.21 ERA in beating the Twins (46-39) in three straight starts.
He began this season coming one out shy of a shutout in a 4-0 victory April 6 and yielded three runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 5-4 win at Target Field on April 27. Price is 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last eight starts versus the Twins.
With Price’s help, the Tigers (43-41) are 7-2 against their AL Central rivals this year and took two of three in their only other visit to Minnesota from April 27-29.
The Tigers head into this series batting .328 and averaging 6.0 runs in their last 12 games despite Miguel Cabrera going on the disabled list Saturday. The first baseman is expected to miss at least six weeks because of a strained left calf.
Detroit had 11 hits in a 5-4 victory over Seattle on Wednesday – its fourth in six games – and Jefry Marte had the first two of his career, a solo homer and an RBI double.
The Twins, meanwhile, completed a three-game sweep of visiting Baltimore with a 5-3 victory Wednesday as Brian Dozier’s two-run homer highlighted a three-run sixth and Eric Fryer added a two-run double an inning later.
Dozier, one of five candidates for the AL’s final All-Star spot, has a league-best 47 extra-base hits and is among MLB’s leaders with 64 runs.
"I hope people are paying attention," manager Paul Molitor said. "You just couldn’t ask for more for a first-half performance. I hope he gets rewarded."
Minnesota hasn’t won four in a row since matching a season high with five consecutive victories May 23-27, and Mike Pelfrey (5-5, 3.94) will likely need an improved performance to get the Twins there.
The right-hander is 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in his last five starts and failed to pitch past the fifth inning for the third time in that stretch Saturday, giving up three runs in four-plus innings in a 5-3 win at Kansas City.
Pelfrey was charged with five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 13-1 loss in Detroit on May 14. He was 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his previous three matchups, including a 3-2 home victory April 28.