Detroit Tigers (36-30) vs. Kansas City Royals (37-32) — 7:08 PM EDT
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 88 degrees, slight chance of storms
The Detroit Tigers are in danger of falling out of first place for the first time in the 2014 season as they face the surging Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night in the second game of four this week.
When We Last Met
There’s not much to say about last night’s 11-8 drubbing by KC. Justin Verlander got hammered again, Brad Ausmus left him in too long again, the defense was lousy, bullpen was atrocious, base running comical, and offense not existent (when it counted). In other words, everything that has gone wrong in the 9-18 stretch since 27-12. I guess the only positive was that the Tigers did what other teams have done to them during rare victories recently–turned laughers into a workout for the winning bullpen, after scoring boatloads of meaningless runs in the ninth.
While J.V. still can’t turn things around, Max Scherzer (8-2, 3.05) gave the Tigers the start they needed his last time out. Facing a sweep in Chicago, Max went to the hill last Thursday facing the unbeaten Chris Sale and out-dueled him in a classic pitching showcase. In fact, Scherzer recorded the first complete game of his career, shutting out the White Sox in a three-hit effort. He struck out eight and walked just three. That followed a stretch where the reigning Cy Young winner allowed 24 runs in 27+ innings over four starts. With Verlander’s dud on Monday, and with first place now on the line, the Tigers need another stellar outing from Scherzer. He shutout out the Royals on May 2, allowing four hits in eight innings.
Yordano Ventura (4-5, 3.20) has been brilliant in his last couple starts, allowing just three runs combined in his last two starts, both wins for the surging Royals. The two straight wins is a marked improvement over Ventura’s early season in which he recorded just one victory from April 20 to May 26, going 1-4 in eight starts. Ventura limited Cleveland to a single run on six hits in seven innings in his last start on June 11.
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Alex Avila-C
- Eugenio Suarez-SS
- Torii Hunter — Day-to-day; out Tuesday
- Luke Putkonen – Out indefinitely
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – Out for season
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season
Kansas City Royals