Twins thinking positively with Tigers coming to town

The Minnesota Twins are eager to embrace more familiar surroundings as they return home to open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday evening in Minneapolis.

The Twins feel good after a nine-game road trip against the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners. They went 6-3 on the trip and won each series 2-1.

It’s the type of consistent success that Twins manager Rocco Baldelli savors.

“I do think we are improving as a group,” Baldelli said. “I still think we’re getting better this year. You can see it, I think, in the way that the at-bats unfold, what the at-bats actually look like.”

Meanwhile, Detroit is looking for back-to-back victories for the first time since June 2-4.

The Tigers are coming off a 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. The victory snapped a four-game skid for Detroit, which also had lost 16 of its previous 22 games.

“You can’t complain about a win, especially with how things have gone,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’re going to get out of here with a win, get on the plane, happy flight, get an off-day. We obviously needed the win, no matter how it comes.”

The Tigers will turn to left-hander Tarik Skubal (9-3, 2.32 ERA) to try to maintain their success. Skubal is putting together an All-Star campaign with 112 strikeouts in 97 innings.

In his most recent outing, Skubal fired seven scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, one of the best teams in the majors. He scattered three hits, walked one and struck out seven.

“He’s a dude,” Hinch said after the performance. “He hit 100, but he also did a much better job of mixing in his other pitches. He did everything tonight.”

Skubal has faced Minnesota 10 times in his career. He is 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA, including one start this season in which he pitched five scoreless innings and earned the victory on April 12.

The Twins will counter with right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson (3-1, 3.41), who is set to make his 14th start of the season and the 15th of his career. Woods Richardson is looking for back-to-back victories after holding Arizona to three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-3 win on Wednesday.

Woods Richardson is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and eight strikeouts in 11 innings in two career starts against Detroit.

Carlos Correa leads the Twins at the plate with a .311 batting average to go along with an .822 on-base plus slugging percentage. He has nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 65 games.

Detroit’s most impactful hitter has been Riley Greene, who is batting .253 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs in 83 games. He has an .831 OPS, which is significantly higher than anyone else on the team.

The Tigers are 4-3 against the Twins this season and have outscored them 32-29.

Minnesota is 23-16 at home this season. The Tigers are 19-24 on the road.

–Field Level Media