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CWS@MIN: Pelfrey fans four, holds Sox to three runs

Detroit will continue American League Central play on Tuesday, when it hosts Minnesota for the opener of a three-game series.

The Tigers won three of five against the Royals and maintained a sizable lead in the division. A big part of their success in that series was hot-hitting Miguel Cabrera, who blasted home runs in each of his last two games. Prince Fielder added one more in the series.

Right-hander Rick Porcello will take the mound for the Tigers, and righty Mike Pelfrey will oppose him for the Twins.

Porcello is 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA through 23 games and 22 starts this season. He won his last start against the White Sox on Wednesday, allowing three runs on 11 hits in six innings. Porcello allowed five of the first seven batters to reach and three runs to score, but he held them scoreless for the next five innings to collect another quality start. His last loss came on June 30. Since then, Porcello is 5-0 in seven starts, and he has allowed three runs or fewer in each start.

The Tigers are 11-6 in August and 20-9 since the All-Star break, with four series victories in that span.

The Twins enter the game after splitting a series with the White Sox, then falling, 6-1, in a makeup game against the Mets on Monday.

Pelfrey is 4-10 through 22 starts with a 5.26 ERA. Though he has allowed four runs or fewer in each of his last 10 starts, he holds a 1-4 record with four consecutive losses dating back to July 6.

Pelfrey went 6 2/3 innings in his last start and gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. It was just the third time this season he has pitched into the seventh inning. Pelfrey recorded his first quality start since July 24.

"I'm encouraged by the way it finished, but not so much by the way it started," said Pelfrey, who didn't throw a bullpen session between starts for the first time this year. "Giving up two runs in the first is never the way you want to start. But my command was much better than my last start, when I had five walks and a hit batter."

The Twins are going to carefully monitor Pelfrey through the end of the season to keep him from wearing down. He's thrown 114 2/3 innings this season after pitching only 19 2/3 in 2012 after he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Tigers: Cabrera reaches another milestone
Cabrera hit his 40th homer of the season on Sunday against Royals left-hander Bruce Chen to beat last year's pace by a month. He also tied Joe DiMaggio for 77th on the all-time list with 361 career home runs.

Sunday's first-pitch two-run homer came hours after Cabrera's walk-off solo shot on Saturday. His milestone home run came in the Tigers' 124th game.

It took Cabrera until Sept. 19 last season to notch his 40th home run. Only Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg reached 40 homers earlier in a season, needing just 109 games to hit the mark in 1938, when he finished with 58 home runs.

Twins: Deduno could miss start
Samuel Deduno might miss his next start after experiencing soreness in his right shoulder following Sunday's loss to the White Sox. Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said team doctors examined Deduno's shoulder, but it looked OK. Deduno is currently scheduled to make his next start on Friday against Cleveland, though that could change.

"The doctors are just going to keep an eye on him," Antony said. "We're not going to rule him out for his start on Friday. But that's subject to change. We'll keep an eye on him and see how he is this week."

Worth noting
• Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit has a 2-0 record with 15 saves and 31 strikeouts over his last 30 outings since May 28.

• Twins general manager Terry Ryan refuted a report that right-hander Vance Worley will be shut down for the rest of the season with shoulder problems. Ryan said that Worley, who hasn't pitched since July 7, will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. Comments