Coming off a series-finale victory against the White Sox, Detroit will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since April 18. Detroit has come up empty in its quest for consecutive wins, despite searching coast to coast.
Since winning four straight in mid-April, the Tigers have played a combined 12 road games in New York, Seattle, Oakland and Chicago, while also competing in 12 home games. Detroit's comeback win in Chicago on Monday allowed the Tigers to salvage a 4-5 record on their most recent road trip and push their overall season record back to .500.
One encouraging sign for the Tigers is they put up five or more runs in both games in Chicago, marking the first time they reached that plateau in consecutive games in more than two and a half weeks.
"We haven't really put a whole stretch together where we hit real well in a game," catcher Gerald Laird said. "So hopefully the bats are starting to wake up. Our pitching's been good lately, so we just have to put it all together and we're going to get going here."
The Twins are looking to get things going themselves, as they enter the series with a Major League-worst 10-26 record. Minnesota has actually gone even longer than Detroit without two straight wins, having accomplished that feat just once all season with wins against the Angels on April 11-12.
The trip to Comerica Park marks the start of an eight-game road trip for the Twins, which will conclude with a three-game set against the fellow divisional foe White Sox.
"We have to win," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We keep talking about how we're in a hole, and it's a big hole. We have a long way to go to get back, so we need to start winning some baseball games."
Twins: Morneau set to return from DL
Minnesota will receive a much-needed lift Wednesday, with Justin Morneau expected to be in the lineup for the first time since April 30.
Morneau, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 1, missed the club's last 14 games because of a sore left wrist. Gardenhire said he plans to start Morneau at first base instead of easing him back into the lineup as the designated hitter.
"Morneau is going to play first base. He said he'd rather play first base and get right back into it," Gardenhire said. "He thinks it's going to help him stay looser and into the game."
Nick Blackburn (1-4, 7.18 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins, coming off his first win of the season. The right-hander picked up a victory Friday against the Blue Jays despite allowing five runs, including three homers, in just five innings of work.
Tigers: Porcello looking for consistency
Rick Porcello will get the ball in the series opener for the Tigers, as the right-hander continues his search for some consistency on the mound this season.
Porcello was dominant in his first two starts of the season (three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings) before getting tagged hard in his next two (13 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings). He bounced back to turn in two more solid outings before giving up four runs on nine hits in just five innings his last time out.
"From the get-go, I was out of sync," Porcello said after the 11-4 loss to the Athletics last Friday. "I wasn't locating the fastball down in the zone. I had a tough time getting the middle of the order out. It's not a good combination for an effective game."
Miguel Cabrera is 13-for-29 (.448) with three home runs and 13 RBIs in his career against Blackburn.
The Tigers are 18-4 in their last 22 games against the Twins, dating back to 2010.
This is the latest first meeting between these clubs since 1998, when they didn't play their first head-to-head game until May 19.