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Tigers Take On Twins In 2-Game Series Starting Tuesday Night

(Sports Network) - Francisco Liriano was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation prior to his last outing. It's probably safe to assume that his role is a little more secure now.

Liriano tries to follow up his no-hitter this evening when the Minnesota Twins open a two-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.

The 27-year-old left-hander, who has been dealing with the flu, had pitched to a 9.13 earned run average through his first five starts and was coming off a miserable three-inning, seven-run effort against the Tampa Bay Rays before he toed the rubber against the Chicago White Sox last Tuesday.

Liriano was magnificent, though, as he tossed the seventh no-hitter in team history to improve to 2-4, while lowering his earned run average nearly three runs to 6.61.

"I wasn't throwing good at all, but I think sometimes that's part of the game," said Liriano, who also walked six batters in the no-no. "Sometimes you make good pitches and they still get a hit. Baseball's tough."

Of course, there hasn't been a pitcher to throw consecutive no hitters since Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer did it in back-to-back starts in June of 1938.

Liriano has faced the Tigers 16 times (12 starts) and is 4-4 against them with a 4.70 ERA.

Minnesota enters tonight's tilt after losing the final three games of its four-game set with the Boston Red Sox, including a 2-1, 11-inning setback in Monday's finale at Fenway Park.

"It's just the way it is," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Somebody is going to get the final hit and score the winning run. Unfortunately for us, we had opportunities in I don't know how many innings, but couldn't come up with it and finally they did. That's the way the game turns."

Detroit, meanwhile, won its third straight game on Monday. Austin Jackson knocked in four runs to help continue Max Scherzer's impressive start to the season, as the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-5.

Jackson, who had go-ahead two-run homer in Sunday's win, brought in three runs in the fourth to put the Tigers ahead for good. Victor Martinez knocked in three RBI for Detroit, which has won six of its last seven games overall.

Meanwhile, Scherzer joined Jered Weaver of the Angels and Oakland's Trevor Cahill as the first pitchers to reach six wins in the majors. Scherzer (6-0) wasn't sharp but got the job done, allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts through five innings.

Tonight, the Tigers turn to righty Rick Porcello, who is 2-2 with a 3.93 ERA. Porcello won his second straight decision on Thursday against the New York Yankees, holding them to a pair of runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Porcello is 2-3 in seven starts against the Twins, while pitching to a 2.76 ERA.

The Tigers split their 18 matchups with the Twins last season, but were just 2-7 in Minnesota. In fact Detroit is just 4-15 in its last 19 trips to the Twin Cities.