The Tigers go in a with a modest three-game winning streak after Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Twins, and the Red Sox have clawed their way back to respectability after a bad beginning to the season.
The Tigers, who were heavily favored to win the American League Central before the season started, got off to a good start and stood 9-3 on April 18. Since then they are 14-21 and in third place in the AL Central with a 23-24 record, three games behind the division-leading Indians.
Detroit is fresh off a weekend sweep of Minnesota, with Miguel Cabrera hitting a two-run homer off closer Matt Capps in the ninth inning of the series finale.
The Red Sox were 12-19 on May 10 but have won 11 of 16 since then and are now 23-24 after missing a chance to climb over .500 for the first time this season by losing to the Rays, 4-3, on Sunday.
"It's not devastating. It's tough, but it's not devastating," Adrian Gonzalez said after Sunday's loss. "We'll come out tomorrow and try to win a game."
The Red Sox are 5 1/2 games behind the Orioles and Rays, who are tied atop the AL East.
Right-hander Doug Fister, who is winless this season after spending time on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his side, will start on Monday for the Tigers.
Fister is 0-2 with a 1.84 ERA and appears to have shaken off the injury. In his most recent start, on Wednesday against the Indians, he went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and two earned runs in a no-decision.
Fister will be opposed by left-hander Felix Doubront, who struck out nine in a loss to the Orioles on Wednesday and is 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA in nine starts this season.
Tigers: Dirks on a roll
Andy Dirks, who went 2-for-4 on Sunday, has hit safely in 19 of his last 24 games in May, batting .344 in that time. He is batting .346 against right-handed pitching, compared with .238 vs. lefties.
Quintin Berry (3-for-4 on Sunday) has hit safely in each of his first five games to start his Major League career. He becomes the first Tigers player to hit safely in his first five Major League games dating back to 1918.
Red Sox: Swimming in unfamiliar waters
This is the latest the Red Sox haven't been over .500 since late August 1996.
Boston entered the day with a Major League-leading 181 extra-base hits and added one to its total, a home run by Gonzalez.
Tigers closer Jose Valverde is nine-for-11 in save opportunities this season.
When Doubront struck out nine Orioles, it was the first time a Red Sox lefty other than Jon Lester fanned that many since Casey Fossum struck out 10 Indians on Sept. 18, 2002.