Game 159: Tigers (85-73) @ Twins (66-92)

Anibal Sanchez is coming off his best start as a Tiger, if not one of the best starts of his career, a complete-game three-hit shutout against the Royals where he struck out ten and only walked one. It goes without saying that he had all of his pitches working for him, though his slider was an especially effective weapon against Kansas City. He was far less effective in his start against the Twins back on August 13th, where he gave up 12 hits and five runs in 5.1 innings (although a few of those runs scored after he was removed from the game). However, keep in mind that he’s been more effective against lefties (.243/.301/.353) than righties (.287/.322/.471) this season, and with most of the Twins’ run production coming from the left side (Span, Mauer, Morneau, etc), this could turn out to be important.

The Twins will send Liam Hendriks to the mound. He’s an Australian righty who has bounced back and forth between Minnesota and minor leagues throughout the season and has largely struggled in the big leagues. He finally notched his first win of the season two starts ago against the Indians (two runs in six innings), but he was blasted by the Yankees in his last start, where he gave up four home runs and six runs total in 6.1 innings. He’s a fly ball pitcher and the home run has been a problem for him (then again, home runs have been a problem for PJ Walters and the Tigers weren’t really able to use that to their advantage). He’s given up 17 home runs in 15 starts. However, he has generally been able to give his team at least five innings in most of his starts. He’s faced the Tigers once, back on July 2nd, and gave up four runs in four innings on six hits and four walks (but no home runs).

Lineups after the jump.

Tigers (A. Sanchez – R) @ Twins (L. Hendriks – R)

1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Quintin Berry (L) LF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Andy Dirks (L) RF
7. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Omar Infante (R) 2B

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Ben Revere (L) RF
3. Joe Mauer (L) C
4. Justin Morneau (L) DH
5. Ryan Doumit (S) LF
6. Chris Parmelee (L) 1B
7. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
8. Alexi Casilla (S) 2B
9. Pedro Florimon (S) SS

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