First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 Eastern.
Thursday starter Rick Porcello has a tough act to follow up after Justin Verlander's complete-game, seven-strikeout, one-run gem on July 4th. But at more than just about any point this season, Porcello, 6-5, looks up to the task.
Since inching up to 5.18 in mid-June, the 23-year-old's ERA has dropped in each start since. Over his last three outings, he has given up just three earned runs -- including one combined in his last two.
The Tigers, who are averaging 5.2 runs over their last five games, will go up against Twins starter Scott Diamond. Diamond had seven starts last season and was a pedestrian 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA. This year, though, he is 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA, easily having the best season of anyone in the Twins starting rotation.
The Tigers are 4.5 games back of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox and 2.5 games back of the second-place Cleveland Indians. After Minnesota leaves town, the Tigers will host the Kansas City Royals in a three-game series and then head into the All- Star break.