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Game 147: Tigers at Twins

Rick Porcello (13-8, 4.21) vs. Brian Duensing (3-1, 3.53), 8:10 p.m. EST

So here we go: Just another series between familiar opponents in the good ol' AL Central, right? Riigghht. Kind of an important three games this weekend at the Metrodome. But is it a do-or-die series? That's something to debate tonight and through the weekend. (It'd be nice if the Tigers had a do-or-die approach, however, which seemed to be lacking in their last three games versus the Royals.)

Brian Duensing has been outstanding since being added to the Twins' starting rotation. In his past five starts, Duensing has gone 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA. He's also thrown 26 strikeouts versus nine walks in 31 innings. And the Tigers were already having trouble against left-handed starters as it is.

As Jesse Lund of Twinkie Town explained in our interview with him, Duensing likes to pitch to contact and depends on location. But while he gives up some hits (26 in those five starts), he does not serve up the long ball (zero). Duensing has faced the Tigers twice this season, both times as a reliever, compiling a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings.

Is Rick Porcello Detroit's second-best starting pitcher right now? He's won three of his past four starts (with one no-decision), and in those three wins, he gave up two runs or fewer. Porcello has pitched twice against the Twins this year, winning at Comerica Park (allowing four hits over seven shutout innings), but losing in Minnesota (giving up six runs - four earned - in four innings).

Though Carlos Guillen insists he can bat right-handed now (after one at-bat against Bruce Chen yesterday), he's not in tonight's starting lineup. (Maybe it's better to save him for pinch-hitting, anyway.) The Tigers have faced quite a few lefties lately, so you're probably used to the batting order they're starting tonight. Here are the lineups:


Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins

09/18/09 8:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers Minnesota Twins
Ryan Raburn - LF Denard Span - CF
Placido Polanco - 2B Orlando Cabrera - SS
Magglio Ordonez - RF Joe Mauer - C
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Jason Kubel - RF
Marcus Thames - DH Michael Cuddyer - 1B
Brandon Inge - 3B Delmon Young - LF
Curtis Granderson - CF Jose Morales - DH
Gerald Laird - C Matt Tolbert - 3B
Adam Everett - SS Nick Punto - 2B