Tigers-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

Since the All-Star break, Doug Fister has thrown the ball extremely well for the Detroit Tigers.

He's rarely looked good against the Minnesota Twins during his career.

Fister hopes to end his struggles against the Twins and help the Tigers avoid a fourth consecutive loss Tuesday night at Target Field.

Fister (6-7, 3.48 ERA) went 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts prior to the All-Star break, also making two trips to the disabled list with a strain in his side. Now healthy again, the right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.79 ERA in six second-half outings.

After giving up one run in each of his two previous starts, Fister allowed two in 6 1-3 innings Thursday while not factoring in the decision of a 4-3 loss to New York.

He now must try to improve on his 1-6 record and 4.36 ERA versus Minnesota. Fister has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings while losing both of his starts this season against the Twins - each at home and before the All-Star break.

Fister, 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA at Target Field, looks to help Detroit (61-55) bounce back after losing 9-3 on Monday. The Tigers, who swept a three-game set at Minnesota in May, lost for the only the third time in their last 14 games there.

"We got our butts kicked. That's the best way I can put it,'' said Tigers catcher Alex Avila, who is 0 for 6 with four strikeouts in his last two games.

Two games behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central, the Tigers have dropped three straight and five of six following a six-game winning streak.

Miguel Cabrera drove in a run and had one of Detroit's six hits Monday. He is a .400 career hitter at Target Field with 19 RBIs in 22 games.

Teammate Prince Fielder is batting .371 in 10 games at the Minneapolis park, but is 0 for 8 in his last three contests overall after he hit .455 (15 for 33) with four homers and 12 RBIs in his previous nine.

Fielder is 2 for 5 with a double against scheduled Minnesota starter Brian Duensing (2-7, 4.46). The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four home starts against the Tigers, but yielded two runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss at Detroit on July 4.

Duensing, 1-5 with a 6.12 ERA in seven starts overall this season, has allowed 11 runs - six earned - and 21 hits over 13 innings while going 0-1 in his last two. He gave up six runs - four earned - and 11 hits in seven innings of a 6-2 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.

"Duensing actually deserved a little better than he got,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We made misplays and didn't make plays, and it turns into a rough day for Duensing.''

Ryan Doumit and Darin Mastroianni each homered, had three hits and three RBIs Monday to help Minnesota (50-65) snap a five-game home skid and four-game overall losing streak. All-Star Joe Mauer also had three hits to raise his average to .356 in 10 games against the Tigers this season.

Mauer is 2 for 16 versus Fister.

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