Despite some inconsistent results for the Detroit Tigers lately, a number of their hitters have been in a groove. They figure to have a good chance to stay hot Friday night considering how much Minnesota Twins starter Kyle Gibson has struggled on the road.
Detroit (34-28) snapped a three-game skid behind Max Scherzer's first career complete game in a 4-0 victory over the White Sox on Thursday. Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer and his third during a seven-game hitting streak, while Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs and is 10 for 23 during a six-game streak.Martinez has three home runs and seven RBIs in his last seven matchups with the Twins, and Austin Jackson is batting .424 during a 13-game hitting streak against them. Jackson is 10 for 21 in his last seven games overall.Gibson (5-5, 3.91 ERA) turned in an impressive outing his last time out, allowing three hits over seven innings in an 8-0 home win over Houston on Saturday.However, he's 0-4 with an 8.61 ERA in five road outings since winning his first one April 5. The right-hander has posted quality starts in just two of his 11 career road games and was tagged for six runs and seven hits, including a homer by Cabrera, in a career-worst two innings of a 9-3 loss at Detroit on May 10."I don't know what it is. I'm just comfortable throwing here (at Target Field)," Gibson said. "I'm definitely comfortable on the road as well, and I don't think the numbers really get in my head -- I'm still making pitches on the road. Maybe just not as many in big situations like I do at home."Gibson may be on to something, as opponents have hit .375 against him with runners in scoring position on the road but just .107 in Minneapolis.The Twins (31-33) have also enjoyed solid contributions from up and down their order recently. Kendrys Morales was 3 for 5 with three RBIs in Wednesday's 7-2 win at Toronto and is 6 for 13 in three games with Minnesota. Rookie Danny Santana was 2 for 5 and is batting .412 with nine RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.Josh Willingham has hit safely in 14 of 15 while slugging .720 with 17 RBIs, though he's 1 for 24 over his last seven games versus Detroit.Brian Dozier is expected to be ready for the series opener after leaving Wednesday's win in the fourth inning with a sore lower back. Dozier, who had homered in each of his previous two games, has four home runs in his last 12 contests against the Tigers.Left-hander Drew Smyly (3-4, 3.81) is on the mound for Detroit after ending a five-start winless skid last Friday. He limited Boston to two runs -- one earned -- in six innings in a 6-2 victory.Smyly made 10 relief appearances versus the Twins last year, posting a 2.08 ERA, after going 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in three starts against them in 2012.Santana is 8 for 17 against left-handers.Minnesota won three of the season's first five meetings, including two of three in Detroit.