Turning Things Around?

The Detroit Tigers were wondering when the members of their offense, responsible for the majority of baseball's second-highest payroll, were going to start earning their paychecks.

They may have gotten an answer.

The Tigers will look to build off their best offensive performance of the season and win consecutive games for the first time when they conclude a two-game home set Tuesday with the Minnesota Twins.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Detroit -138 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -138 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

Detroit (3-10) had been shut out in back-to-back games in Chicago over the weekend, losing to the White Sox by a combined 18-0. It appeared the streak might continue on Monday, when the Tigers failed to score in the first five innings against the Twins (6-7).

But after failing to score for 24 straight innings, the Tigers' offense came alive, rallying from a five-run deficit to win 11-9, their first victory at home.

"That's what everybody expected from this lineup,'' said first baseman Carlos Guillen, who drove in three of Detroit's 10 runs in the sixth and eighth innings. "But we have to be more consistent because it's a long season."

Guillen's three hits weren't surprising - he's been one of the few consistent hitters for the Tigers thus far, batting .359.

However, the other expensive bats in the lineup also provided some punch. Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Ivan Rodriguez all had multi-hit games on Monday. None had been batting higher than .234.

"You saw a little of what the Tigers can do when you don't make pitches,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We couldn't stop them.''

The Twins, who dropped their last two following a three-game winning streak, will hope to slow the Tigers by sending Scott Baker (2-0, 4.63 ERA) to the hill.

Baker gave up three runs - all on solo homers - in five innings to the White Sox on Wednesday, striking out seven. The right-hander's control has been excellent in his two starts this year, as he's allowed just one walk.

Baker's first two career starts against the Tigers went well, as he won both and had a 1.38 ERA. His last five haven't been bad, either, but he's 0-3 with a 4.45 ERA.

Ordonez is 9-for-21 (.429) with a home run in his career against Baker.

The Tigers will counter with left-hander Nate Robertson (0-1, 7.84), who hasn't made it through the sixth inning of either of his two starts. He lasted 5 1-3 innings in a 12-6 loss to Boston on Thursday, yielding four runs and eight hits.

Robertson has fared well against the Twins in the past two years, going 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts. He's gone exactly seven innings in his last six outings against Minnesota.

First baseman Justin Morneau has three homers and is tied for the Twins lead with 11 RBIs, but he's only hitting .222. The 2006 AL MVP has had similar issues when facing Robertson - he's got three homers, but is batting just 5-for-30 (.167).

Designated hitter Jason Kubel has been Minnesota's other top run producer thus far in 2008. Like Morneau, he has three homers and 11 RBIs.

Kubel, however, has never had a hit against Robertson in eight at-bats.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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