The Tigers entered Tuesday's series opener with the Twins having won 30 of their last 43 games dating back to July 2. Detroit's .698 winning percentage stood as the best mark in the American League Central over that span.
Meanwhile, the Twins carried a four-game losing streak to Detroit, 18 1/2 games behind the division-leading Tigers.
On Tuesday night, the Twins put an end to their skid, halting the Tigers' run, briefly, with a 6-3 win.
As the Twins look to keep trending in the win column, manager Ron Gardenhire knows they need to keep playing at the top of their game through the remainder of the three-game set.
"It's always fun coming in here," Gardenhire said. "This is a very good baseball team. You have to play really good baseball. You can't make too many mistakes against them or else they'll kill you."
In Wednesday's matchup, the Twins turn to righty Kevin Correia. With an 8-9 record and a 4.61 ERA, Correia hasn't shown quite the same consistency he had earlier in the season. But despite taking a loss to the White Sox in his most recent start -- giving up two crucial home runs -- he said he felt good, regardless of the few bad pitches they used to go deep on him.
The last time Correia faced the Tigers was April 3 at Target Field -- the second game of the season. While he didn't take a decision in his seven innings of two-run ball, the Twins did earn a 3-2 victory.
For the Tigers, Anibal Sanchez will take the mound. The right-hander is 11-7 this season, with a 2.50 ERA.
Sanchez has tossed six straight quality starts and is 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA since the All-Star break. He'll face the Twins for the fourth time this year, owning a 1.90 ERA against them while striking out 29 in 23 2/3 innings.
In his latest start, Sanchez earned a win against Kansas City, surrendering just one run on seven hits and a walk. He also struck out five through his seven innings. Sanchez credited his success to the adjustments he made between innings.
"That's what I try to do," Sanchez said. "I try get my focus and make my adjustments when I need it. Sometimes I start the game, like today, when my balls aren't going for strikes, even my sinker didn't work and I have to do something. I checked my video and I was slow at the beginning of the game. And after that I made my moves and made some movements on the pitch, and I was able to get ahead in the count."
Twins: Solving Cabrera
One of the keys to taking on Detroit is attempting to limit the damage Miguel Cabrera causes. Last year's AL Triple Crown winner is batting .359 with 40 home runs and 120 RBIs.
Gardenhire noted that the Twins, along with everyone else, are still trying to figure out how to keep Cabrera at bay.
"I think everybody is trying to figure that out," Gardenhire said. "The guy is really strong and has a good plan and makes adjustments throughout the game, so you have to do the same thing. But he's going to get you one way or another. He's going to get his hits. You just hope you can limit the damage when he's up there. He also has some guys behind him who are swinging pretty good and can do some damage. So it's a very tough lineup to work your way through."
Tigers: Injured players on the mend
Omar Infante returned to the lineup Tuesday against the Twins after missing Sunday's game in Kansas City with lower back spasms and a tight left quadriceps.
Infante said he suffered the injuries Saturday during a suicide-squeeze play while running home from third.
"Omar's fine," manager Jim Leyland said. "I wasn't sure about that one, but he's fine and ready to go."
Meanwhile, Alex Avila took batting practice Tuesday for the first time since suffering a concussion over a week ago. He also did catching drills and threw to bases.
Leyland has gone on the record many times saying Avila has been hit by more foul tips than any other catcher he's ever seen. But right now, it's just a matter of seeing how Avila reacts to taking BP again, according to Leyland.
• The Twins will be without Joe Mauer for at least a week. The All-Star catcher, who was a late scratch Tuesday with dizziness, was placed on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms after the game. He took a few foul balls off the facemask Monday. Chris Colabello was called up from Triple-A Rochester to take Mauer's roster spot.