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Game 141: Tigers (67-73) at Twins (77-63)

Armando Galarraga (12-4, 3.17) vs. Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.45)

After a disappointing homestand, the Tigers hit the road for their final three games this season against that team they just can't seem to beat, the Minnesota Twins. Remember at the All-Star break, when Detroit was still presumably in the playoff race, and the mantra was "Thank Cobb, the Tigers only have to play the Twins three more times"?

The Twins find themselves staggering back home to Minneapolis after a brutal 14-game road trip necessitated by the Republican National Convention's presence in the Twin Cities. Ron Gardenhire's team went 5-9 on that trip, punctuated by a three-game sweep against the Blue Jays in Toronto. So will the Twins have a bit of a "Oh, thank Puckett - we're home!" kind of letdown this evening, or will returning home give them a boost?

Beginning the series with Armando Galarraga on the mound would seem to give the Tigers a chance at starting this series off right. But three of Galarraga's four losses this season have come against these Minnesota Twins. Yet his ERA in four starts vs. the Twins is 3.65, so it's not like he hasn't pitched rather well against them. Galarraga is 5-0 in his last eight starts.

The last time Francisco Liriano faced the Tigers, he left the game with tightness in his forearm. That eventually became an elbow injury that cut his outstanding rookie season short and required Tommy John Surgery. This was in August of 2006. (How do I remember this so well? I was playing Joe Media in the press box that night. Was that a gratuitous reference?)

Of more immediate and relevant interest is the fact that Liriano has given up only five earned runs in his last six starts (covering 36 2/3 innings) combined.

Twinkie Town has your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series.