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SEA@DET: Fister strikes out 10 Mariners over 7 2/3

The champagne is still on ice for the Tigers entering the second game of a three-game series in Minnesota against the Twins.

With their magic number down to two, Detroit needs a win and a Cleveland loss to secure a third consecutive division title on Tuesday night.

The man tasked with getting them halfway there is right-hander Doug Fister, who is 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA. In his most recent outing, on Thursday, he struck out 10 Mariners in 7 2/3 innings but made one mistake, which resulted in a three-run homer.

"He was good," said Victor Martinez, who started at catcher for just the third time this season in Fister's start against Seattle. "He was working at a pretty good pace, working all of his pitches."

Fister and the Tigers can clinch a playoff spot with either a win or a Rangers loss, though that goal is secondary to a division title. So, too, is home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but that may be slipping away. The Tigers trail the Athletics by three games with five to play, and Oakland holds the tiebreaker, having won four of seven this year against Detroit.

As for Minnesota, left-hander Scott Diamond will make his third start since returning to the rotation on Sept. 12. He tossed his first quality start since July 26 and earned his first win since June 20 his last time out.

Last Wednesday, Diamond held the White Sox to three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He didn't record a strikeout and got just three swinging strikes, but he managed to limit his opponent nonetheless.

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire will be looking for another quality outing from Diamond, as the Twins are mired in a slump that has seen them lose 15 of their last 18 games.

"We're not playing well," Gardenhire said. "We're playing against some very good teams who are hungry and want to do some things. We're facing a lot of good pitchers with a lot of young players playing for us. So I just want to see clean baseball games and have our pitchers give us a chance. We just haven't had much of a chance lately with our staff."

Tigers: Fielder plays in 500 straight
On Monday night, first baseman Prince Fielder played in his 500th consecutive game -- the longest active streak in Major League Baseball.

"I'm stubborn," Fielder said. "I've always said: Unless it's bleeding or broken, I'm playing, just because I'm hard-headed."

Fielder spent 483 of those 500 games as a first baseman and 17 as a designated hitter.

Twins: Mauer shut down for year
All-Star catcher Joe Mauer has been shut down for the remainder of the 2013 season, general manager Terry Ryan announced on Monday.

Mauer sustained a concussion on Aug. 19 when he was hit by a foul tip and hasn't played since.

"Ultimately, we're going to work toward the 2014 season," Ryan said. "There are no setbacks. There are no red flags here. But on the advice received from medical people, the best thing was to have Mauer get healthy as soon as possible and be ready for next year."

Worth noting
• Minnesota's Josh Willingham is hitting .300 with two homers and a .440 on-base percentage in 25 plate appearances against Fister.

• The Tigers have won 18 of their last 26 games at Target Field dating back to September 2010.

• Oswaldo Arcia's 14 home runs are the most by a Twins rookie since Marty Cordova hit 24 in 1995. Arcia was a late scratch from Monday's game because of a bruised right knee.

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