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Royals and Tigers continue crucial series in Detroit

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The Tigers have a chance to tie the Royals for first place in the American League Central with a win in the second contest of a three-game series. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will take the hill for the Tigers, who won the series opener 9-5 to trim the Royals’ lead to one game. Scherzer is 9-1 at home this season, but the lone loss came against the Royals.

Victor Martinez has nine RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak and he has reached safely in 27 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors while Miguel Cabrera was named the American League co-Player of the Week yesterday after batting .500 with five home runs and nine RBIs over seven games.

Billy Butler usually torments the Tigers, entering the series with a .327 career batting average against them, but he was hitless in four at-bats last night to extend his overall slump to 1-for-20 over the past six games. Salvador Perez, who also has a lifetime batting average of better than .300 against the Tigers, is 0-for-12 in his last three games following a six-game hitting streak. Jason Vargas will make his fourth start this season against the Tigers, who trail the Mariners by a half-game and the Athletics by 1½ for the top two wild card spots in the American League.

America’s Bookie has the Royals at +157, the Tigers at -167 and the total is set at 7½.

Pitching Matchup:

Jason Vargas (11-7, 3.14 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (15-5, 3.25 ERA)

Jason Vargas rebounded from a two-start losing streak in which he allowed 21 hits to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory at Texas last time out. Vargas has given up two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last nine starts and he has not surrendered a home run during that stretch. He is 5-3 with a 2.12 ERA in 12 road starts, which includes allowing three runs over 14 innings in two outings at Comerica Park.

Max Scherzer took a no-decision last time out after giving up three runs (two earned) over six innings at Cleveland, his fourth consecutive start away from home. Scherzer has been a far different pitcher at home, going 4-0 while surrendering a total of five runs in his last five starts. His last home loss was against the Royals on June 17, when he allowed 10 runs on 10 hits over four innings.

Kansas City Royals (79-63) vs. Detroit Tigers (79-65)

7:08 PM ET, September 9

Comerica Park

Coverage: FSDT

72° F/ 22° C
Partly Cloudy

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