Detroit at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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With Miguel Cabrera dealing with nagging injuries, the Detroit Tigers are considering giving their superstar time off down the stretch to rest.

A day game after a night game might seem like a good idea for a break, but manager Jim Leyland may want to keep Cabrera in the lineup given his history against Kansas City Royals scheduled starter Bruce Chen.

The AL Central-leading Tigers again look to rough up Chen in Sunday's series finale in Kansas City.

Cabrera has gone 2 for 5 with three RBIs and four walks in two games after missing four of five contests with an abdominal strain. Leading the majors in batting average (.356) and RBIs (133), Cabrera is trying to chase down a second consecutive triple crown. Detroit (82-60), however, may want Cabrera to take it easy over the next three weeks so he can be healthy for the playoffs.

The 2012 AL MVP might not have to lobby too hard to get in Sunday's lineup.

Cabrera was 2 for 2 with a two-run homer against Chen (6-2, 2.81 ERA) in the left-hander's only start against the Tigers this season, a 6-3 loss on Aug. 18. Cabrera's five career homers off Chen are tied for his most against any pitcher, and his .441 average in 34 career at-bats is his best against anyone he has at faced at least 40 times.

Cabrera, though, isn't the only Tiger that regularly frustrates Chen.

Austin Jackson had two hits off Chen last month, and is 8 for 19 with a pair of doubles against him since the start of last season. The center fielder is batting .458 with six RBIs and five runs in his last six games for the Tigers, who own a 5 1/2-game lead over second-place Cleveland.

The Royals (74-68), winners of 10 of 14, are 3 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.

"I've been here for the last four years and it is very special what we're doing," Chen told the Royals' official website. "We're trying to do everything we can to win and it's very fun. We want to keep it going, so come the end of September we will be playing and be very close or maybe ahead. You never know what is going to happen."

Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in Saturday's 4-3 win, and has been instrumental to Kansas City's playoff push, batting .408 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in his last 15 games. The All-Star catcher is 3 for 9 against scheduled starter Doug Fister (12-7, 3.66) this season.

After yielding season highs of seven runs and 13 hits in five innings of a 14-4 loss to Oakland on Aug. 28, Fister gave up four hits over seven innings in Monday's 3-0 win at Boston. He struggled with his command, walking four and hitting a batter, but the sinkerballer induced three double plays.

"Keeping the ball down, throwing pitches that I needed to induce the double plays,'' the right-hander said was the difference.

Excluding the dud against the Athletics, Fister is 6-1 with a 2.11 ERA since July 12. That stretch includes two starts against the Royals, in which he's gone 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA.

Chen permitted two runs in six innings in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Seattle, but didn't get the decision. He has a 2.31 ERA in his last two starts after recording a 13.00 ERA in losing his previous two outings, which includes getting tagged for six runs over 5 1-3 innings in Detroit last month.

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

Doug Fister, RHP
2013 stats
179.2 Innings Pitched 93.0
12-7 Wins-Losses 6-2
3.66 Earned Run Average 2.81
37 Walks 27
131 Strikeouts 61
104 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
68.0 Innings Pitched 98.0
3-4 Wins-Losses 5-8
3.71 Earned Run Average 5.42

Bruce Chen, LHP
Weather
weather image  Tstorms early. Morning clouds. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
95°F76°F8mph/SW42%24%
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 Bruce Chen
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Iglesias21000.500
Cabrera3415596.441
Dirks176001.353
Pena31000.333
Fielder165124.313
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Doug Fister
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Cain63000.500
Moustakas197106.368
Butler309024.300
Getz103020.300
Escobar278115.296
 

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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