TIGERS (39-88) AT TWINS (78-51)
2:10 p.m. ET; FSNO, FS-D, MLB.TV
Left-hander Martin Perez gets the start Sunday afternoon for the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins, who will try to win just their second home series since the All-Star break when they face the Detroit Tigers at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Minnesota, which leads the Cleveland Indians by 2 1/2 games, is just 10-14 at home since the break and has won just one of the seven series at Target Field, a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 2-4.
The Twins, who dropped the series opener to Detroit 9-6 on Friday, bounced back from an early 4-1 deficit to even the series on Saturday night with an 8-5 victory.
Perez (8-5, 4.60 ERA) is 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in six career appearances and five starts against Detroit. He lost his only start against the Tigers this season, 5-3, on May 12 at Target Field when he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in five innings while striking out seven.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd (6-9, 4.24) has been reinstated from the paternity list and will start for Detroit. Boyd is 6-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 17 career starts against Minnesota and 3-4 with a 5.40 ERA in eight starts at Target Field. He had a no-decision in his only start this season against the Twins on June 7 in Detroit, a 6-3 Tigers loss. He allowed three runs on nine hits over seven innings while striking out eight.
Two players Boyd will have to try and slow down are outfielder Jake Cave and third baseman Miguel Sano, both of whom have hit three home runs in the first two games of the series.
Sano capped a five-run rally in the fifth inning of Saturday night’s comeback win with a three-run homer into the second deck in left field to put Minnesota ahead to stay, 6-4. Cave added a two-run shot in the sixth and had reached base seven consecutive times in the series before striking out in the eighth against reliever Matt Hall.
“They both can hit a ball,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Cave has a quick bat, and he makes a good sound. I’ve known Sano for a long, long time. He’s a very strong young man that if you miss over the middle part of the plate, he’s going to kill it, hit it a long ways.”
That’s what happened Saturday night to Tigers starter Edwin Jackson.
“He hung a slider, and that was pretty much the night for him,” Gardenhire said.
Cave, who has bounced back-and-forth between Minnesota and Triple-A Rochester this season, has made the most of his playing time since being recalled due to Byron Buxton’s shoulder injury sustained while crashing into the fence at Marlins Park in Miami on Aug. 3.
Cave is hitting .452 in August and, after hitting just two home runs in his first 120 at-bats this season, goes into Sunday’s contest with three homers in his last five at-bats, including two that easily cleared the fence in dead-center.
“He’s certainly had some great at-bats, some really good swings again today,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. “Having a guy who can step in and has experience in the outfield that can play all the outfield positions, and then go up there and have the at-bats that he’s been having, it’s a huge pick-me-up. He brings a lot of energy to the table.”
–Field Level Media