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Kansas City at Detroit

Venue: Comerica Park
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Max Scherzer has benefited from baseball's best run support all year, but the offense behind him has seemingly disappeared since he notched his 19th win.

The Detroit Tigers hope a matchup with the Kansas City Royals' Jeremy Guthrie can help reverse that trend.

Scherzer makes his fourth attempt at becoming the majors' first 20-game winner on Sunday as Detroit hosts Kansas City.

Offense came at a premium for both clubs in a 1-0 victory for Kansas City on Saturday as an RBI triple by Eric Hosmer in the first inning accounted for the game's lone run. A great throw from left field by Alex Gordon and relay from Alcides Escobar nailed Prince Fielder at the plate for the game's final out when the Tigers first baseman tried to score from first on a double.

The victory clinched the season series for Kansas City (78-70) for the first time since taking 11 of 18 games in 2008. It also pulled the Royals even with Baltimore in the AL wild-card chase and within one-half game of the New York Yankees as both teams lost Saturday.

"We had to win this ballgame and the manner in which we did it was just exciting," manager Ned Yost said.

The Tigers (85-63) hope Scherzer (19-3, 3.01 ERA) can help trim their magic number from 10. But he's surrendered 13 runs in 16 innings over his last three starts, losing the last two for his first back-to-back defeats since April 24 and 29 of last year.

He didn't help himself with a throwing error in a 5-1 road loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday while allowing five runs - four earned - over a season-low four innings. Just one of the six hits was for extra bases, however.

"I'm not going to beat myself up over this outing," Scherzer said. "I've been pitching too well this year to do that. I'm just focused on what I can control and I just need to go out there and pitch the way I'm capable of."

Scherzer's 6.81 run-support average leads the majors, and he received an average of 7.32 runs while going 19-1 in his first 26 starts. But he's received a total of two runs of support in his last three outings.

He didn't need his best to secure victories in all three starts versus Kansas City earlier this year, posting a 4.05 ERA while receiving 16 runs of support over 20 innings.

Meanwhile, after being shut out for the 10th time Saturday, the Tigers have good reason to believe the runs will come a little easier against Guthrie (14-10, 4.11), who is 2-1 in three starts versus Detroit this year but with a 5.12 ERA.

Guthrie yielded four runs and a career-worst 13 hits over seven innings of a 4-1 road loss to the Tigers on Aug. 15.

Fielder and Andy Dirks are a combined 17 for 39 (.436) off Guthrie while Miguel Cabrera is 12 for 36 with three homers, nine RBIs and five walks.

Gordon is 9 for 25 off Scherzer with seven walks while Salvador Perez is 6 for 15.

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

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP
2013 stats
190.2 Innings Pitched 194.1
14-10 Wins-Losses 19-3
4.11 Earned Run Average 3.01
55 Walks 48
102 Strikeouts 215
102 Pitches Per Start 105
Career vs. opponent
95.2 Innings Pitched 92.1
7-4 Wins-Losses 9-4
4.14 Earned Run Average 3.61

Max Scherzer, RHP
Weather
weather image  Light rain. High level clouds. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
67°F53°F7mph/SW59%56%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Kansas City2nd AL Central101.000 ½ 1-0 W 1
Detroit1st AL Central201.000-2-0 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Max Scherzer
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Giavotella95101.556
Bonifacio84012.500
Perez156200.400
Gordon259174.360
Getz145020.357
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeremy Guthrie
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Pena63001.500
Dirks209002.450
Fielder198120.421
Hunter3612003.333
Tuiasosopo31100.333
 

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Injuries
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
A. GordonWrist
L. HochevarElbow
O. InfanteElbow
R. MadsonBack
Detroit
PlayerInjury
M. CabreraAnkle
J. HanrahanElbow
V. MartinezKnee
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6DET 1:08 PM EDT  
Apr 8DET 1:08 PM EDT  
Apr 9DET 1:08 PM EDT  
Apr 27MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Apr 28MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Apr 29MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
May 12DET 7:08 PM EDT  
May 13DET 7:08 PM EDT  
May 14DET 1:08 PM EDT  
Jul 9MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 10MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 11MIN   
Jul 12MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 14MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 15MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 16MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 25DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 26DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 27DET 1:08 PM EDT