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Detroit at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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Justin Verlander has continued his domination of the Kansas City Royals this season but has yet to earn a win against them.

Verlander will try to change that while helping the Detroit Tigers start turning around their lackluster record in this year's series Saturday night.

Verlander is 15-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 25 career starts against Kansas City and has posted a 0.64 ERA in his two matchups this season. The Tigers' bullpen, though, has failed to hold on to leads in both games, and he's received a total of five runs of support.

Verlander pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight in his most recent meeting with the Royals on June 12, but Drew Smyly and Jose Valverde combined to give up two runs in the ninth in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

In the final game before the All-Star break Sunday, Verlander (10-6, 3.50 ERA) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 5-0 win over Texas.

He's hoping a change in routine will help him earn another victory. Verlander has had only one throwing session since his last start in order to help him rest.

"I think it's going to rejuvenate him," pitching coach Jeff Jones told the team's website. "It's been a battle for him. He's worked as hard as you can work trying to figure some things out.

"We've spent a lot of time in the video room working on various things that he's gotten away from that he's done in the past. I think he's starting the throw the ball really well."

The Tigers (52-43) were shut out for the seventh time this year in their return from the break Friday. They produced a season-low two hits in a 1-0 defeat to Kansas City (44-49).

Billy Butler's RBI single in the first inning was all the Royals needed to snap a five-game skid. After going 13-5 in last season's series, the Tigers are 2-4 against Kansas City in 2013.

"I did not know that was going to be enough," Butler said. "It was a pitcher's duel, old-fashioned."

Jeremy Guthrie (8-7, 4.25) will try to help his team win consecutive games with another strong home start against Detroit. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last three matchups with the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

Guthrie gave up two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 win there June 10, his only meeting with Detroit this season.

Unlike Verlander, Guthrie wasn't sharp in his final start before the break. He gave up five runs over seven innings in a 5-3 loss in Cleveland last Saturday.

Four of those runs came on one swing from Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth inning. The grand slam was the 22nd homer that Guthrie has allowed this season.

"Jeremy was really good, really good tonight," manager Ned Yost said. "I thought that inning just kind of developed."

The performance dropped the right-hander to 1-4 with a 5.80 ERA in his last six starts. Guthrie is 0-1 with an 11.42 ERA in his last two home outings after going 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA in his first six this season.

Butler has more hits off Verlander than any other batter, going 24 for 57 (.421) with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Justin Verlander, RHP
2013 stats
126.0 Innings Pitched 120.2
10-6 Wins-Losses 8-7
3.50 Earned Run Average 4.25
45 Walks 43
125 Strikeouts 58
108 Pitches Per Start 101
Career vs. opponent
168.2 Innings Pitched 82.2
15-2 Wins-Losses 6-3
2.56 Earned Run Average 3.81

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP
Weather
weather image  Tstorms late. Partly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
91°F74°F6mph/SE48%60%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit3rd AL Central4139.51255-5 W 2
Kansas City1st AL Central4533.577-5-5 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeremy Guthrie
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Fielder125020.417
Hunter2910002.345
Cabrera2910345.345
Pena31001.333
Tuiasosopo31100.333
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Justin Verlander
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Butler5724268.421
Tejada83001.375
Perez134001.308
Dyson103023.300
Getz256013.240
 

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Injuries
Detroit
PlayerInjury
M. CabreraCalf
K. LobsteinShoulder
J. NathanElbow
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
T. CollinsElbow
B. FlynnLat
K. MedlenElbow
J. VargasForearm
Y. VenturaElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 13MINKC 12-3Duffy May 
Apr 15MINMIN 3-1Gibson Volquez 
Apr 16MINMIN 8-5Milone Vargas 
Apr 20KCKC 7-1Volquez Gibson 
Apr 21KCKC 6-5Young Fien 
Apr 22KCMIN 3-0Pelfrey Guthrie 
Jun 8MINKC 3-1Vargas Hughes 
Jun 9MINKC 2-0Young May 
Jun 10MINKC 7-2Volquez Gibson 
Jul 2KCMIN 2-0Gibson Young 
Jul 3KCKC 3-2Davis Thompson 
Jul 4KCMIN 5-3Duensing Blanton 
Jul 5KC 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 7KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 9KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Oct 2MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3MIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Oct 4MIN 3:10 PM EDT