Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: Twinkie Town
Pitching Matchup: Brian Duensing (1-4, 4.10 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (8-5, 2.69 ERA)
Duensing didn't join the Twins' rotation until June 23rd, appearing in 28 games in relief prior to his first start of the season against the Cincinnati Reds. He has basically been the Twins' version of Duane Below, going 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA as a reliever so far in 2012. Both of his starts in 2012 have largely followed the same plot: Duensing cruises through the first few innings, but falls apart after going through the lineup a couple times. Expect some of the same today as he continues to stretch out into a starter's mindset and pitch count.
Duensing has logged 60 1/3 career innings against the Tigers, going 2-3 with a 4.48 ERA. He has three scoreless innings against them this season, but was rocked in two starts against Detroit last season and was largely bailed out by his offense in a third start, his only win against the Tigers in 2011. He is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA at Comerica Park for his career.
The bad news: Verlander already has as many losses as he did in all of 2011. The good news: we all know he's good enough to go the rest of the season without a loss. I mean, he almost did it last year, reeling off a 13-2 record from July to the end of the season. This is his first time facing the Twins in 2012, but he was 3-0 against them last season. His only start at Comerica Park against Minnesota was a 7+ inning gem on August 16th.