Twins line up starting rotation for Tigers series

Santiago, Berrios, Santana to face Detroit as Duffey gets pushed back

Twins line up starting rotation for Tigers series

NEW YORK -- Twins manager Paul Molitor has lined up his two best starting pitchers for next week's series against the Tigers, but he will also give struggling rookie Jose Berrios another start.

Veterans Hector Santiago and Ervin Santana will start the games Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, at Target Field, with Berrios pitching Wednesday night. The Twins will move Tyler Duffey, another struggling young pitcher, back to pitch next Saturday against the Mariners.

Duffey has an 11.15 ERA over his last four starts, and he didn't make it out of the fourth inning Wednesday against the Tigers in Detroit. Molitor said he wants to give the 25-year-old right-hander time to work on the side with pitching coach Neil Allen, and also wants to be as competitive as possible against a Tigers team that is fighting for a playoff spot.

Santiago has a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts, and he is coming off a 5-1 win over the Tigers on Thursday. Santana, who started against the Mets on Saturday night, has been the Twins' best starter.

The 22-year-old Berrios made it through just four innings Friday night against the Mets, but Molitor saw some encouraging signs.

"We wanted to get him back out there while he's trying a new delivery," Molitor said.

Berrios has an 8.88 ERA in 12 Major League starts. Only five pitchers in Major League history have made 13 or more starts with an ERA that high, but the group includes Roy Halladay, who had a 10.64 ERA while making 13 starts in 2000 and went on to win two Cy Young Awards later in his career.

After Santiago, Berrios and Santana face the Tigers, the Twins will use Kyle Gibson and Duffey in the first two games against the Mariners.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.