Detroit at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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Two days after suffering their worst loss in nine years, the Detroit Tigers responded with a blowout victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Kansas City's Danny Duffy will be tasked with keeping Miguel Cabrera and company in check Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium while Justin Verlander tries to end his longest ever winless stretch against the Royals.

The Tigers (82-59) suffered a 20-4 loss at Boston on Wednesday, surrendering eight homers in their worst defeat since a 26-5 setback to Kansas City on Sept. 9, 2004. Then they turned around and handed the Royals (73-68) a 16-2 loss on Friday, just their fourth defeat in 13 games.

Kansas City is 4 1/2 games off the pace in the AL wild-card race while Detroit owns a 6 1/2-game edge over Cleveland in the AL Central.

Cabrera was 1 for 3 with two walks and drove in his major league-leading 131st run after missing four of five contests with an abdominal strain. His return seemed to give the rest of the lineup a lift, too, with Omar Infante recording career highs of five hits and six RBIs and Andy Dirks going 5 for 5.

Detroit recorded a season-high 26 hits.

"The hits just fell tonight," said Dirks, who is 27 for 66 (.409) in his last 19 games versus Kansas City. "That's baseball. When I hit it, it just went in the holes."

Duffy (2-0, 1.35 ERA) comes off a disappointing outing, lasting 3 2-3 innings in a 3-1 win versus Seattle on Monday, allowing a run, five hits and four walks while stranding six runners.

"I didn't have it today," Duffy said.

The left-hander had thrown 12 2-3 scoreless innings over his previous two starts, including six innings of one-hit ball in a 2-1 win at Detroit on Aug. 16. He had been 0-3 with a 5.16 ERA in his four previous starts against the Tigers.

Cabrera is 4 for 12 off Duffy and owns a 1.291 on-base plus slugging against lefties this year.

Verlander (12-10, 3.59) was the loser in that Aug. 16 contest despite limiting the Royals to two runs and seven hits over eight innings. He has notched at least one win over Kansas City each of the last seven years but is 0-2 in four starts this year despite a 2.60 ERA. He's 15-4 with a 2.71 ERA in 27 career outings against the Royals.

Verlander is also winless in his last five starts overall, with the Tigers losing each time. He threw seven shutout innings in a 4-0 loss to the Indians on Sunday.

"He pitched great," manager Jim Leyland said of Verlander's first scoreless performance in nine starts. "We just couldn't get the big hit when we really needed it."

Billy Butler is batting .344 over his last 31 games and is 27 for 62 (.435) off Verlander, including 6 for 9 this season.

Detroit's Austin Jackson, who was 3 for 6 with four RBIs Friday, is hitting .380 through his last 17 contests with 17 runs and 14 RBIs.

Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos is expected to make his first big league start Saturday, according to the team's official website. He went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs while winning MVP honors in the 2012 Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium.

Copyright 2014 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
185.2 Innings Pitched 20.0
12-10 Wins-Losses 2-0
3.59 Earned Run Average 1.35
67 Walks 9
175 Strikeouts 21
109 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
182.1 Innings Pitched 28.2
15-4 Wins-Losses 1-3
2.71 Earned Run Average 4.08

Danny Duffy, LHP
Weather
weather image  Scattered tstorms late. Mostly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
94°F71°F10mph/S42%35%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit1st AL Central9072.556-6-4 W 1
Kansas City2nd AL Central8973.54916-4 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Danny Duffy
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Santiago21000.500
Cabrera124033.333
Martinez92011.222
Jackson122114.167
Avila81013.125
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Justin Verlander
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Bonifacio21011.500
Ciriaco21000.500
Maxwell42001.500
Butler6227288.435
Perez155002.333
 

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Injuries
Detroit
PlayerInjury
R. DavisGroin
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
L. HochevarElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 13MIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 15MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Apr 16MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Apr 20KC   
Apr 21KC   
Apr 22KC   
Jun 8MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 9MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 10MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 2KC   
Jul 3KC   
Jul 4KC   
Jul 5KC   
Sep 7KC   
Sep 8KC   
Sep 9KC   
Oct 2MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3MIN   
Oct 4MIN 2:10 PM EDT