From Comerica Park: Twins/Tigers Game 3

Posted on September 30th, 2009 – 2:51 PM
By Joe Christensen

DETROIT — Once again, the Twins are getting ready for the most important game of their season.

A loss tonight would put the Tigers on the postseason doorstep. A win pulls the Twins back within one game of first place. Two losses in the next two days eliminates the Twins entirely. Two wins, and these teams are tied.

Tigers starter Eddie Bonine might not make Twins hitters as uncomfortable in the batter’s box as they were Tuesday, facing Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander, but Bonine did open with five no-hit innings in his previous start against the White Sox. Bonine’s fastball will come in about 90-mph, and he mixes in the occasional knuckleball.

Twins starter Carl Pavano is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts against the Tigers this season, including two with the Twins. It’s worth noting, however, that the Tigers did get 11 hits off him over seven innings on Sept. 19 — a 6-2 win for the Twins at the Metrodome.

In 10 starts for the Twins, Pavano is 4-3 with a 3.84 ERA. This is the biggest one yet.

Note: I knew Tuesday’s doubleheader showdown between these two teams was rare. But in today’s Twins notes, there is this nugget from the Elias Sports Bureau: It marked the first doubleheader since 1916 to come that late on the calendar (Sept. 29) pitting two teams from the same division — one in first place, the other in second, and the difference at two games or less. The Twins and Tigers put on quite a show, too.

(TWINS 82-75)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Jason Kubel, RF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Jose Morales, DH
8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
9. Nick Punto, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano (13-11, 4.86 ERA)

TIGERS (84-73)

1. Curtis Granderson, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Clete Thomas, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Magglio Ordonez, DH
6. Carlos Guillen, LF
7. Brandon Inge, 3B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Ramon Santiago, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Eddie Bonine (0-1, 4.60 ERA) *corrected

Comerica Park. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. TV: FSN

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