Ordonez has missed four straight games with a viral infection, but hopes to play Tuesday.
“I do think he’s feeling better,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “What might happen is Tuesday he comes out early, and if he would have a really good day, maybe there’s a chance that he would play then.”
Ordonez, one of baseball’s best right-handed hitters, was limited to 52 games for the White Sox last year by knee problems.
Ordonez’s presence in the lineup would help a Detroit team trying to end a slide against Minnesota. The Tigers’ last win against the Twins was on July 11, 2-0 at Minnesota.
The Tigers’ second one-run loss in three days dropped them to .500. Detroit, though, has scored 17 runs in its last two games.
Minnesota’s Joe Mays will make his first start since Aug. 23, 2003. The right-hander missed all of last season following reconstructive elbow surgery. Mays gave up one run and three hits in two innings in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Friday in his first regular-season appearance since Aug. 31, 2003.
“He should be able to handle these things,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “As I told him, ‘Take the ball and do the best you can. Throw it over.’ He’ll be fine. We told him that from the get-go and I’ll reaffirm that before the game. Be yourself, just like spring training. Go at them and see what happens.”
Mays has been outstanding against Detroit, going 10-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 15 starts and two relief appearances.
Mays will be trying to build on an outstanding performance from 2004 AL Cy Young award winner Johan Santana.
After watching teammates Kyle Lohse and Brad Radke get roughed up in consecutive losses to the White Sox, Santana stopped the skid with 11 strikeouts in seven innings to help Minnesota avoid getting swept by its division rivals with a 5-2 victory Sunday.
The Twins’ starters have struggled early on—even Santana gave up four runs in the first inning of his previous start, an 8-4 win at Seattle. The Twins have been outscored 11-0 in the first inning this season.
Minnesota is in the middle of 19 straight games against AL Central opponents.
STANDINGS (through April 10): Tigers - 2nd place (tied), 1 GB, AL Central. Twins - 2nd place (tied), 1 GB, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Mike Maroth (0-1, 12.27 ERA). The left-hander struggled in his first start, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings in a 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Maroth set career highs in wins (11-13), innings (217), ERA (4.31) and strikeouts (108) last season. He is 2-7 with a 4.54 ERA in 11 starts against Minnesota.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Mays (0-0, 4.50 ERA). Mays is 42-55 with a 4.69 ERA in his career. He went 17-13 with a 3.16 ERA for the Twins in 2001.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Carlos Guillen, .455 avg. and 1 SB.; Dmitri Young, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs and 9 runs. Twins - Luis Rivas, .385 avg.; Torii Hunter, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs and 2 SBs.; Nick Punto, Michael Cuddyer and Hunter, 3 runs.
2004 SEASON SERIES: Twins, 12-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - 3B Brandon Inge is 1-for-14 against Mays. … SS Guillen, who missed the end of last season with a torn ACL, stole his first base in the fifth inning Sunday. … CF-LF Craig Monroe is batting .343 (37-for-108) with eight home runs and 23 RBIs against Minnesota. Twins - Still experiencing dizziness four days after he was hit in the head by a pitch, Twins 1B Justin Morneau is seeking another opinion. A CT scan in Seattle shortly after Wednesday’s beaning showed no damage, but Morneau has been unable to do any baseball activities since. … LF Shannon Stewart is batting .391 (9-for-23) against Maroth. … Minnesota has not scored first in any of its six games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 0-0 on the road; Twins - 1-2 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - RF Ordonez (viral infection); SS Ramon Martinez (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Gary Knotts (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Colby Lewis (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Fernando Rodney (shoulder), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 60-day DL. Twins - RHP Grant Balfour (forearm), 15-day DL; RHP Carlos Silva (knee), 15-day DL; LF Jason Kubel (knee), 60-day DL.