Minnesota is in the midst of a seven-game stretch against a couple of dangerous lineups in the Tigers and then the Rangers. While the Twins were able to withstand Miguel Cabrera's three-hit, three-RBI night Monday, they hope to keep him and fellow Tigers slugger Prince Fielder in check during Tuesday's matchup.
"We're going to face big lineups and big pitching staffs," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who won his 900th career game in Minnesota's 6-4 victory on Monday. "The middle guys in their lineup here, if the guys get on in front of them, they're going to do some damage. It's a tough task. We've got to pitch well. Our starters have to give us a chance."
Looking to give the Twins that chance is righty Nick Blackburn, who hopes to bounce back from a five-inning, six-run outing in his last start against the White Sox.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will send lefty Duane Below to the mound on Tuesday for his first start of the season. Below, who contended for a starting rotation spot during Spring Training, will make a spot start after righty Max Scherzer was scratched Monday night due to a tight hamstring.
Below, who has appeared in 21 games out of the bullpen for the Tigers, will try to tame a suddenly hot Twins offense. During their four-game winning streak, the Twins have scored 28 runs, including six on Monday.
"This team's pounding the heck out of the ball right now," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "This team was out of sync early, but this team's back in the swing of things. ... This is a pretty good offensive lineup, for sure. You've got to go win games."
Twins: Capps throws, expects to start rehab next week
Right-handed reliever Matt Capps, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to June 24, threw Monday for the first time since receiving a cortisone shot in his inflamed right shoulder last week. Capps plans to make a rehab outing for Class A Fort Meyers on July 10 or 11.
The team hopes Capps, who has 14 saves this season, will be activated following the All-Star break.
Tigers: Fielder joins AL Home Run Derby team
Fielder was officially named to his third Home Run Derby on Monday when American League Derby captain Robinson Cano selected him. Fielder won the Derby in 2009 and was the National League captain a year ago.
Fielder, making his first Derby appearance as a member of the AL, will look to join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only other player to win more than one Home Run Derby crown. Griffey won three times in 1994, '98 and '99.
Outfielder Andy Dirks, who has been in a walking boot for more than two weeks with Achilles tendinitis, will be re-examined by the team on Friday.
Leyland is the league's active leader for career managerial wins with 1,627.