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Tigers-Twins Preview

AP - Sports

The Detroit Tigers have gotten steady performances lately from one player they acquired last month, but they could use some better efforts from the other player who came over in the same deal.

Anibal Sanchez will try to regain his form and rebound from one of his worst outings of the year in his fourth start for the Tigers in Monday night's series opener against the Minnesota Twins.

Detroit got Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami in a five-player deal July 23, and Infante has overcome a slow start. He's batting .375 (18 for 48) with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs in his last 13 games after going 2 for 17 (.118) in his first five.

Infante had a pair of hits and drove in a run Sunday in an 8-3 loss at Texas, Detroit's fourth in five games. The Tigers (61-54) are two games behind Chicago in the AL Central and one game back in the AL wild-card race.

"We just played a bad game, a blah, bad game," manager Jim Leyland told the team's website. "And that happens. You turn the page and go to Minnesota."

Detroit, therefore, could use more help from Sanchez (1-2, 7.80 ERA), who has allowed five or more runs in two of his last three outings. The right-hander was tagged for a season high-tying seven over three-plus innings during Wednesday's 12-8 loss to the New York Yankees.

Sanchez will try to have a better showing against the Twins (49-65), who have batted .219 and been outscored 29-13 over four consecutive losses. Detroit has won 11 of 13 in Minnesota and swept a three-game series May 25-27.

The Twins got all of their runs in Sunday's game against Tampa Bay in the first three innings and finished 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position during a 7-3 loss.

The Twins are expected to get some help with third baseman Trevor Plouffe set to return from a stint on the disabled list for a bruised right thumb. Plouffe had a 17-game hit streak snapped just before heading to the DL.

"He's ready," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's website. "He will be back (Monday), if everything goes good."

Minnesota outfielder Denard Span, though, remains day to day after hurting his right shoulder while attempting to make a diving catch in Sunday's loss. Span is batting .347 over his last 17 games.

"He's pretty sore in his collarbone and shoulder area," Gardenhire told the team's website.

Samuel Deduno (3-0, 3.27) will try to help his team while producing a better outing than he did Tuesday. The rookie right-hander gave up four runs in just four innings and did not get a decision in a 7-5 victory in Cleveland, ending a string of three consecutive winning starts.

He also issued a season high-tying five walks, giving him 25 in 33 innings.

"When I had to throw a good pitch, I didn't make it," Deduno told the team's website.

Deduno is making his first start against the Tigers, and Sanchez his first versus the Twins.

With three RBIs, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera would become the third Tigers player to top 100 in five consecutive seasons and the first since Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer from 1932-36. Cabrera also remains one homer shy of becoming the franchise's first player to hit at least 30 in five straight campaigns.

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