It'll be Minnesota's Francisco Liriano vs. New York's CC Sabathia, and while preseason predictions might have listed this as a battle between two of the game's best southpaws, recent results haven't proven that out.
Liriano, for example, has lasted only nine total innings in two starts and has walked five batters while only striking out six and pitching to a 10.00 ERA. Coming off a year in which he was limited by injury to 24 starts and went 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA, it could be viewed as somewhat discouraging.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has picked up on that in Liriano's body language and would like it to change.
"He's just got to enjoy the game a little bit more when he's out there and have a little more fun, I think," Gardenhire said. "Right now it looks like he's pressing."
As for Sabathia, well, the former Cy Young Award winner had one word, at first, to describe his body of work so far in 2012, which includes two starts, two no-decisions and a 6.75 ERA.
"Bad," Sabathia said. "That's one of the things that I try to do, is make sure, whether it's good or bad, that I just move on and go to the next one."
Sabathia said he hasn't found anything mechanical to point to, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he's not paying too much attention to his ace's early struggles.
"I try not to think about it too much, to be honest," Girardi said. "As I've said, CC's notoriously been a slow starter. So any time CC struggles a little bit, people say, 'Uh-oh' in a sense. This guy has won 20, 20 and 19 for us, I believe. And two of the Aprils he had were not real good in that stretch.
"So yeah, I'm looking at CC as kind of going on as normal progression. And as it starts to get warmer, and we know he likes the heat, he really starts to pitch better."
Twins: Gardenhire admires Jeter ... when not facing him
Gardenhire was asked about Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter on Monday, right before Jeter led off the Yankees' half of the first inning with a home run.
"You've got so many great players or professional players," Gardenhire said. "He tops the list. He's right at the top. He's always been the ultimate professional when it comes to playing this game and respecting it. You admire the guy. I heard talks last year that his range was this and that. Every time he plays us we never get a ball by him. He's what a baseball player should be. He goes out there and plays every day. I've admired him from afar for a long time, and now you tell us he's their hottest hitter. Thanks."
The Twins will give first baseman Justin Morneau a day off Tuesday because Morneau has struggled against Sabathia in the past.
"Morneau isn't going to play vs. Sabathia," Gardenhire said. "Give him a break. He's played every game, every inning."
Outfielder Josh Willingham has hit safely in each of the Twins' 10 games this season, going 14-for-36 (.389). The last Twins player to record a hit in each of the first 10 games of a season was Jacque Jones, who started the 2002 season by hitting in 11 straight. Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett owns the Twins record, hitting safely in each of the Twins' first 15 games in 1994.
Yankees: Milestones within reach
Jeter tied Charlie Gehringer (1,775) for 19th place on Major League Baseball's all-time runs scored list on Monday night. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez also scored a run to tie Frank Robinson (1,830) for 13th place on MLB's all-time list.
Rodriguez, who is tied for fifth place with Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time MLB home run list with 630, needs two homers to tie Bernie Williams (287) for sixth place for homers as a Yankee.
Reliever David Robertson has pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings this season, recording seven of his 16 outs via strikeout. He owns a career ratio of 12.02 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (277 strikeouts in 207 1/3 innings), which is the best among all active pitchers with a minimum of 200 career innings pitched.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer enters Tuesday's game with a career batting average of .357 (15-for-42) with three home runs, nine RBIs and 10 walks in 11 career regular-season games in the new Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia is undefeated in his last nine regular-season and postseason starts against Minnesota, and is 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in that span.