The Tigers and the Twins provide an interesting matchup in Thursday's series finale: the veteran versus the rookie.
After opening his Major League career with 17 1/3 scoreless innings, Andrew Albers will make just his fourth Major League start as he looks to rebound from his first loss -- against the White Sox last Friday at Target Field -- and continue keeping teams off the scoreboard.
Albers has a 1.85 ERA in his brief tenure this season. And while he was roughed up in his last start, giving up five runs on eight hits and walk over seven innings, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the young lefty has a plan.
"He understands what he has and doesn't have," Gardenhire said. "He's not going to fool anybody. He's going to need to be around the zone and not keep the ball in the same place too often to be successful. But he understands that and knows he has to change speeds and execute, and we've seen him do that."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn't shy about the fact that they haven't seen Albers pitch much yet, but did note his numbers are impressive.
"I haven't seen much of him," Leyland said. "He's not an overpowering guy. He's a left-handed stylish type pitcher, pretty good. His numbers are very good."
Justin Verlander is slated to start opposite the rookie. The right-hander has a 12-9 record this season with a 3.51 ERA. While he took a loss in his most recent start as well -- against Kansas City last Friday -- he only allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out six in an eight-inning outing.
"I feel that my stuff has been better, specifically my breaking ball," Verlander said after the loss. "So I'm definitely happy where I'm heading going into the last month of the year and hopefully the postseason."
Verlander has only faced the Twins twice this season, with both appearances occurring in April. He opened the season on April 1 with a win at Target Field, tossing five scoreless innings, allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts. He also earned a win on April 30, giving up just one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings. He also struck out eight.
Twins: Arcia could spend time on DL
Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was held out of the Twins lineup both Tuesday and Wednesday night because of a sore wrist he tweaked on a diving play in the outfield against the White Sox on Aug. 15.
He is day to day and has been taking anti-inflammatory medicine while receiving treatment on the wrist.
He's a candidate to be placed on the 15-day disabled list if he doesn't get through batting practice on Thursday, according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony. Gardenhire mentioned Darin Mastroianni and Chris Parmelee as candidates to be recalled from Triple-A Rochester if Arcia goes on the DL.
"He didn't tell the trainers, so I think Dave was a little upset with him for not saying anything," Gardenhire said Wednesday. "You have to get treatment if your wrist is bothering you. And, obviously, his wrist is still bothering him, but he didn't let anybody know that. So it's a bad way to go about your business. And now I don't know how many days we'll be without him."
Tigers: Catchers ailments grow
Brayan Pena is the latest addition to the Tigers' growing list of injured catchers. Pena fouled a ball off his right foot during Tuesday's game, leaving Detroit with just one full-time catcher on Wednesday.
Pena jammed his right big toe on the foul ball and stayed in the game, hitting a single, but was clearly struggling on his way to first. Bryan Holaday pinch-ran for Pena, who is day to day.
"I woke up and I couldn't move my toe," Pena said. "I was kind of scared last night, because I couldn't even move it. I couldn't even land [on] my toes and I didn't want to hurt my team, especially in that situation."
Pena indicated that he could catch if needed, but Victor Martinez is currently pegged as the backup if something were to happen to Holaday. If Martinez catches, it would mark his first time behind the plate since 2011, but Leyland indicated he wouldn't catch until this weekend against the Mets.
"I'm contemplating -- contemplating only -- catching him a game in New York," Leyland said.
• The Tigers enter Thursday's game having won 74 of their last 107 games at Comerica Park since July 4, 2012. The mark leads the American League with a .692 winning percentage during that span.
Entering Thursday, Tigers starting pitchers have posted a quality start in 27 of their past 35 games, with a 20-8 record and a 2.56 ERA in that span.
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.