The Tigers’ 5-4 loss left them one shy of tying the post-1900 record of 120 losses set by the 1962 New York Mets.
“I don’t want it to happen, but I don’t know what else I can do or they can do right now,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “Honestly, if we do win the next two games, yeah great, but with 119 losses, we’re still going to be talked about. But this week has really been uplifting to watch this effort.”
“We’ve had it there all year, but we haven’t played like we should,” Halter said. “It just goes to show you these guys do have some intensity and passion. I just wish we would’ve done it all year, and not just in the last few games. We wouldn’t be in this situation if we had.”
The Twins, who had won a season-high 11 in a row before losing to Detroit in 11 innings Thursday, will have Brad Radke on the mound Saturday.
The right-hander has won six straight decisions with a 1.76 ERA, and is 9-1 with a 3.33 ERA since the All-Star break.
“He’s having a great second half, as all our pitchers are,” Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Radke is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts against Detroit this season. In 25 career starts against the Tigers, he is 15-4 with a 4.29 ERA. The 15 wins are his most against any opponent.
STANDINGS: Twins - 1st place, AL Central. Tigers - 5th place, 49 GB, AL Central.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Radke (14-10, 4.56 ERA). Radke faced the Tigers in his last outing on Sunday, limiting them to one run and six hits over seven innings of a 6-4 home victory. He also struck out six and didn’t issue a walk for the fourth straight start, spanning 30 innings.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Gary Knotts (3-8, 5.89 ERA). Knotts, who hasn’t won since Sept. 4 against Cleveland, is 0-3 in his last three starts. The 26-year-old right-hander has allowed at least four runs in each of those outings, including Monday’s 12-6 defeat at Kansas City. He went four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits while walking three and striking out four. Knotts, who spent his first two seasons in Florida, is facing the Twins for the first time. Despite a 1-5 record, he has a 3.96 ERA at home. He is 2-3 with an 8.21 ERA on the road this year.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Twins - Pierzynski, .312 avg.; Torii Hunter, 26 HRs and 101 RBIs; Shannon Stewart, 88 runs; Cristian Guzman, 18 SBs. Tigers - Young, .294 avg., 29 HRs, 83 RBIs and 76 runs; Alex Sanchez, 40 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Twins, 15-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Twins - The Twins are 44-10 against the Tigers over the past three seasons. … C Pierzynski hit his career-high 34th double on Friday. … 3B Corey Koskie has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. Tigers - DH Young, who had his first four-hit game of the season on Friday, is 15-for-30 with seven RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak. … RF Bobby Higginson returned to the lineup Friday after being on the bench for three games—two due to a suspension. He went 0-for-5. … Higginson has three homers and 11 RBIs against RHP Radke despite batting .247 (19-for-77).
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Twins - 42-37 on the road; Tigers - 21-58 at home.