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Jurrjens on the hill in Minnesota finale

Jurrjens on the hill in Minnesota finale

Jair Jurrjens now knows that he has a rotation spot for the rest of the stretch run. On Sunday, he gets his chance to help make sure the Tigers have a playoff chase heading into the stretch.

The Tigers won't know how the AL Wild Card-leading Yankees fare until they've landed in Cleveland for their upcoming AL Central showdown. But they know they can hold up their own end by a completing a three-game series sweep of the Twins. They seemingly got the toughest part of that task out of the way by beating Johan Santana. Considering Boof Bonser has never lost to the Tigers, however, the last part isn't so easy.

The Tigers roughed up Bonser for four runs over five innings here on May 13, but that was after Minnesota had built an insurmountable lead by spoiling Virgil Vasquez's Major League debut on national television. That started Bonser on a four-game winning streak, but he has won twice in his last 16 outings.

It remains to be seen how much of Detroit's regular lineup manager Jim Leyland will use to try to get to him. Carlos Guillen was hit by a Matt Guerrier pitch in his right shoulder in the ninth inning on Saturday, though he stayed in the game. Ivan Rodriguez, heating up at the plate this series, hasn't rested since the first game of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rangers. Magglio Ordonez and his sore heel were last out of the starting lineup Sept. 5, but Ordonez had a game at DH earlier this week.

The game will be the first half of a two-sport, two-city, Minnesota-Detroit doubleheader Sunday. While this game is ending, the Vikings and Lions will be playing their NFC North showdown in Detroit at Ford Field, across the street from Comerica Park.

Pitching matchup
DET: RHP Jair Jurrjens (2-1, 3.15 ERA)
As long as Jurrjens felt fine after his five innings of one-run ball on Tuesday night in his return from the disabled list, he was going to be in Detroit's depleted rotation down the stretch. The choice for Leyland was to have him face the Twins, who haven't seen him yet, rather than the Indians for the third time in about a month. The Rangers hadn't seen him before, and he cooled off their red-hot offense on Tuesday with a change of speeds and several broken bats.

MIN: RHP Scott Baker (9-7, 4.17 ERA)
Baker allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win against the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. Baker came within three outs of a perfect game in a start against the Royals on Aug. 31 and finished with a complete-game one-hitter, allowing 10 hits and one walk, but yielding three runs or fewer for the eighth time in nine starts.

Player to watch
Curtis Granderson is 3-for-7 with two doubles off of Bonser.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSND

On radio
• WXYT 1270

Up next
• Monday: Tigers (Kenny Rogers, 3-2, 4.50) at Indians (Paul Byrd, 15-6, 4.34), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Tigers (Justin Verlander, 17-5, 3.47) at Indians (Jake Westbrook, 5-9, 4.38), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Tigers (TBD) at Indians (C.C. Sabathia, 17-7, 3.21), 12:05 p.m. ET

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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