The Detroit Tigers have been on a roll since Mike Pelfrey's latest defeat, and the right-hander will try to keep that going while avoiding a dubious distinction.
Pelfrey can guarantee he won't become the first Tigers pitcher to lose his first five starts since 2003 by leading Detroit to a fifth consecutive victory and a three-game sweep of his former team, the Minnesota Twins, on Sunday.
The Tigers (13-10) have outscored their past four opponents 29-10 and have beaten the Twins by a combined 13-3. Justin Upton continued his turnaround with a three-run homer in the first inning of a 4-1 victory Saturday and Victor Martinez contributed a pair of doubles while driving in a run.
Upton is 4 for 9 in this series after batting .198 in his first 21 games with Detroit.
"I'm swinging the bat better," Upton told MLB's official website. "It's a long season, though. You're going to hit hot streaks. You're going to have some cold times. So, you just can't really look too much into it."
Martinez is batting .481 with three homers, five doubles and nine RBIs in his past seven contests. Nick Castellanos, hitting an AL-best .363, has gone 8 for 15 since Pelfrey's 5-1 defeat against Oakland on Tuesday.
Pelfrey (0-4, 4.64 ERA) gave up a season-high five earned runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings of Tuesday's 5-1 loss to Oakland. He has received zero runs of support in all four starts and has tied a career high by dropping eight consecutive decisions since an 11-1 win over Texas on Aug. 12 for the Twins (7-17).
"It doesn't matter if we are scoring 20 runs when I pitch or zero," Pelfrey said. "My job is to get outs and put zeroes on the board, and in four starts this year, I haven't done that."
Pelfrey is the first AL starter to receive no runs in his first four games since Mike Morgan for Toronto in 1983. The Tigers will try to change that while helping him avoid becoming their first pitcher to lose his first five starts since Mike Maroth dropped his first seven in 2003, Detroit's 119-loss season.
Detroit will also seek its first three-game sweep in Minnesota since May 25-27, 2012.
Pelfrey was 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 home starts for the Twins last season.
In his one, Pelfrey will pitch opposite former teammate Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 3.25), who has been up and down so far this season. The right-hander fanned a season-high nine on Tuesday against visiting Cleveland but gave up four runs in 7 1/3 innings while receiving a no-decision.
Nolasco has no record and a 5.02 ERA in his two home starts. He has a 1.35 ERA in his two on the road.
Nolasco was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in his two matchups against Detroit last season but yielded two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings in his final one, a 6-2 victory May 13. He tossed eight scoreless innings in his only home start versus the Tigers, a 4-3 win on Sept. 16, 2014.
Martinez is 5 for 11 lifetime against Nolasco and Mike Aviles is 8 for 14.