Last year’s AL pennant winner is trying to avoid joining the defending AL Central champion at home this October.
“There is not one guy here that is not going to show up until this is over,” Tigers first baseman Sean Casey said.
Should Detroit (85-72) lose or the New York Yankees beat Tampa Bay, the Tigers will be eliminated. Detroit, which won the wild card last year and clinched its first pennant since 1984 before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, have dropped five of seven including a 2-0 loss to the Twins (77-79) on Monday.
“I think it’s kind of sad,” losing pitcher Nate Robertson said. “A lot of people were enjoying our run. But we’re still not out of it.”
The Tigers, who trail the New York Yankees by 5 1/2 games for the wild card this year, had seven hits on Monday and put two runners on in the ninth, but Ivan Rodriguez grounded out as the Tigers were blanked for only the third time this season.
“A couple of runs was good enough against a real good team,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You rarely shut those guys out.”
Nick Punto and Jason Kubel each had RBI singles for the Twins, who have won five of seven. Rondell White, who announced before Monday’s game that he likely will retire after finishing this season with Minnesota, was 1-for-4 as the designated hitter.
White has had multiple injuries since debuting with Montreal in 1993. He is batting .158 (16-for-101) in 35 games this year.
“I missed four months this year. My body hurts,” said the 35-year-old White, who was on the disabled list from April 10 until July 22 with a strained right calf. “There’s a good chance this is it.”
The Twins, last year’s division winners, were eliminated from the playoffs last week. They are trying to finish the regular season with a winning record for the seventh straight year.
Garza is 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers. Both losses have come this season, despite a 2.84 ERA.
Bazardo, who’s making his second start this year, lasted 4 2-3 innings on Sept. 15 against Minnesota, allowing two runs and four hits in a 4-3 win. The right-hander did not factor in the decision.