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News » Twins-Tigers Preview 2009-05-05

Twins-Tigers Preview 2009-05-05

Twins-Tigers Preview 2009-05-05
Michael Cuddyer and the Minnesota Twins are producing at the plate. The Detroit Tigers aren't.

The Twins look to continue their hot hitting Tuesday night when they go for a sweep of a two-game road set with the slumping Tigers.

Cuddyer has been torrid of late, going 9-for-18 with two triples, a homer and seven RBIs over the last six games. The right fielder has raised his average 59 points to .267 during that stretch while driving in seven runs to give him 13 RBIs on the season.

The Twins (13-13) are batting .308 and have scored 38 runs in those six games, going 4-2. They're coming off a 7-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night as Cuddyer went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and recorded his third consecutive two-hit game.

Cuddyer is 10-for-28 (.357) with one homer and seven RBIs in his previous nine games at Detroit, where Minnesota has won five of its last six.

The Tigers (13-12) haven't been nearly as good offensively as their AL Central rivals of late. Detroit is batting .230 with 32 runs in the last eight games, going 4-4 in that span. They managed four hits off Francisco Liriano on Monday after totaling 23 in the previous two games - both wins over Cleveland.

"We haven't gotten our offense rolling yet," manager Jim Leyland said. "We've got too many guys not swinging well."

One of those guys is Magglio Ordonez, who's 6-for-42 (.143) with two homers and six RBIs over the last 11 games. Ordonez, whose average has fallen 79 points to .242, hit .317 in 2008 and an AL-best .363 two years ago.

"It's not frustrating," Ordonez said. "I just need to hit."

He usually does against the Twins. Despite going 0-for-4 on Monday, Ordonez is batting .441 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in his last 16 games versus Minnesota.

Twins sinkerballer Nick Blackburn (2-1, 4.02 ERA) will try to take advantage of the struggling Tigers and win a third consecutive start. The right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA in his last two outings.

That's a vast improvement for Blackburn after going 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA in his first three starts of the season.

Blackburn is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four games - three starts - against the Tigers. All of those starts came at Comerica Park, where's he's 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA.

The Tigers will counter Blackburn with rookie Rick Porcello (1-3, 6.23), who'll make his first start against Minnesota.

The 20-year-old right-hander has lost two consecutive starts, posting a 9.31 ERA. He allowed three homers and lasted just 9 2-3 innings in those outings.

Porcello gave up a season-high six runs in 3 2-3 innings Wednesday en route to an 8-6 loss to New York.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 5, 2009

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