The Detroit Tigers still hold a six game lead in the American League Central and welcome the KC Royals to town for a four-game set beginning Monday night. The Royals continue to try to play spoiler and hopefully the Tigers will be looking ahead to their upcoming series with teams right on there heels.
On Monday night, Luke Hochevar will make the start for the Royals. Since the All-Star break, he is 3-2 with a 3.66 ERA. On July 9th, Hochevar faced the Tigers and took a no-decision. He allowed six run on nine hits and three walks over just 3.2 innings. Alex Avila (.400), Austin Jackson (.400), and Miguel Cabrera (.529 with a homerun and five RBIs) have had success against Hochevar.
He will be matched up against Max Scherzer. Scherzer lost to the Royals back on August 7th, as he allowed four runs on six hits over five innings. Mitch Maier is hitting .571 against him, while Jeff Francoeur is hitting .375 with a homerun.
On Tuesday, Jeff Francis will start for the Royals. He lost to Detroit back on July 10th, as he allowed two runs on four hits over six innings. He walked just one while striking out six. Delmon Young is 2-for-3 in his career against Francis, while Ryan Raburn is 2-for-3 with a homerun and four RBIs. Raburn has a jammed finger, so we will see if he gets the start in this game against Francis.
Doug Fister will get the start on Tuesday for the Tigers. Fister was a great acquisition for the Tigers at the trading deadline this July, as he is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA with Detroit. He faced KC back in April (when he was still with Seattle) and took the loss (7IP, 8H, 5R, 5K). Brayan Pena is 1-for-2 with a homerun against him, while Billy Butler is hitting .400 against him.
On Wednesday, it will be a rematch of the August 5th matchup between the Royals and the Tigers. Felipe Paulino will start for the Royals. He took a no-decision on August 5th, as he allowed just one run on three hits and four walks over five innings. Cabrera is 1-for-3 and Ramon Santiago is 1-for-2 with a homerun against Paulino. Rick Porcello also took a no-decision on August 5th, as he allowed three runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings. He struck out four in that game. Butler (.316), Melky Cabrera (1-for-2 with three RBIs) and Pena (.500) like to hit against Porcello.
In the series finale on Thursday, Danny Duffy will make the start for the Royals. He lost to the Tigers (and Justin Verlander) on August 6th, as he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over five innings. He did strike out four in his first career start against the Tigers. In that game, Cabrera had two doubles and Victor Martinez went 2-for-4.
With series coming up with the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, the Tigers have elected to push ace (and CY Young’s leading contender) Justin Verlander’s start back to Friday against the White Sox (he will then start the series finale against the Indians). In Verlander’s place, the Tigers will start rookie Jacob Turner, who will be making his second Major League start on Thursday. In his first start on July 20th, Turner took the loss as he allowed two runs on three hits over 5.1 innings. He struck out six against the LA Angels. He is the Tigers top prospect and was their first round pick in 2009.
Monday: Luke Hochevar (8-10, 4.91 ERA) @ Max Scherzer (13-7, 4.21 ERA)
Tuesday: Jeff Francis (5-14, 4.82 ERA) @ Doug Fister (3-1, 3.45 ERA)
Wednesday: Felipe Paulino (2-6, 3.83 ERA) @ Rick Porcello (12-8, 5.01 ERA)
Thursday: Danny Duffy (3-8, 5.55 ERA) @ Jacob Turner (2nd ML start)