Detroit Tigers (51-54) vs Kansas City Royals (62-42) — 7:08 PM ET
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 76 degrees, mostly cloudy
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The Detroit Tigers meet the Kansas City Royals for the first time since May 10. Looking forward from that point, you had to figure these 12 contests with Kansas City throughout August and September would go a long way to crowing the American League Central champion.
Oh how far we’ve come. The Tigers have tanked and the Royals have surged since the last time these teams met. The Royals have all but clinched the division, (which would be their first ever AL Central title and first since winning the AL West exactly 30 years ago) the Tigers are not even in second place anymore and have unloaded David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and former Royal Joakim Soria.
The Tigers still somewhat control their own destiny by playing four of the five teams near them in the wild-card race, but they likely will be trying to knock their rivals down a peg. Who knows, stranger things have happened in less time.
Kansas City actually limps into Detroit a bit, losers of four of their last five, including dropping three of four games at Rogers Centre against the surging Toronto Blue Jays.
When We Last Met
After dominating the season series 15-4 last year, the Royals have turned the tables a bit, holding a slim 4-3 lead in the series after splitting four games in KC and taking two of three in Detroit.
It feels nice not to have to talk about how Justin Verlander (1-3, 4.86) is still looking for his first win of the season, doesn’t it. If Verlander can shut down the Royals and turn in a solid performance it could mean he has indeed turned a corner because it would be his third straight nice outing and four of his last five. Over his last two outings, he’s allowed just two runs on 11 hits over eight innings in each start, winning his most recent effort.
This will be JV’s first start against KC this year. He went 3-2 with a 4.76 ERA in six starts a year ago and is 19-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 35 starts against the Royals during his career.
Danny Duffy (4-5, 4.28) was hit hard in Toronto in his last start, although its hard to not get hit hard by the Blue Jays. He allowed five runs on six hits in four innings of a 5-2 loss on Thursday. He faced the Tigers at Kauffmann Stadium back on April 30 and was brilliant, scattering seven hits and allowing one run in the 8-1 KC victory. That was a rare solid outing versus Detroit for Duffy who has gone 2-6 in 10 career starts although he has a solid ERA of 3.16.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Jose Iglesias-SS
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- James McCann-C
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Jefry Marte
- Anthony Gose-CF