Series: Game 1 of 4

Kansas City leads 1-0 (as of 6/16)

Game 1: Monday, June 16
Kansas City11Final
Game 2: Tuesday, June 17
Kansas City11Final
Game 3: Wednesday, June 18
Kansas City2Final
Game 4: Thursday, June 19
Kansas City1Final

Royals 11

(37-32, 19-16 away)

Tigers 8

(36-30, 18-17 home)

    Coverage:  FSDT

    7:08 PM ET, June 16, 2014

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000043400 11 17 0
    DET 001100006 8 13 2

    W: J. Vargas (7-2)

    L: J. Verlander (6-7)

    Royals-Tigers Preview

    The Kansas City Royals are riding high on a seven-game win streak, but they can be forgiven if they approach their next series with some caution.

    The visiting Royals are 0-5 against the first-place Detroit Tigers this year and have had trouble with Monday night's scheduled starter, the struggling Justin Verlander.

    Kansas City (36-32) begins this four-game set trying to cut into Detroit's 1 1/2-game AL Central lead. The Royals are enjoying their longest win streak since a nine-game run July 23-Aug. 1.

    The Tigers have outscored the Royals 32-12. Victor Martinez (8 for 19) and Ian Kinsler (9 for 22) have done some of the major damage in the season series for Detroit (36-29), combining for five doubles, two homers and seven RBIs.

    Verlander (6-6, 4.61 ERA) is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts against the Royals this year, and 17-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 31 in his career versus them.

    The right-hander could be vulnerable Monday with his highest ERA in six years. He fell to 1-4 with a 7.39 ERA in his last five outings after giving up a season-high seven earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in Wednesday's 8-2 loss at the Chicago White Sox.

    "I mean it is troublesome, yeah, but just need to continue to work on what I've been working on," he said.

    Two Royals hitters who figure to trouble him are Billy Butler and Salvador Perez. Butler is a .432 hitter off Verlander and Perez is 12 for 27 with seven doubles and a homer.

    Perez is 13 for 34 during a nine-game hitting streak after going 2 for 3 with a three-run homer in Sunday's 6-3 win over the White Sox. Kansas City outscored Chicago 22-6 in sweeping the three-game set.

    "We're getting off to early leads," said first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was 4 for 12 with a homer and five RBIs over the weekend. "We're giving our pitchers breathing room early. The way they have been throwing for us all year they have been lights out. Now to give them nice breathing room early and get some leads and not let them to be fine with their pitches and let them go out there and let the defense work."

    Detroit is 12-7 against left-handed starters as it gets ready to face Jason Vargas (6-2, 3.30) for the third time this year. Vargas is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in the first two outings, with Kinsler going 4 for 6 with a homer.

    Vargas is 2-0 in six road starts with a 1.60 ERA that ranks fifth in baseball.

    The Tigers won for the third time in four games, 4-3 over Minnesota on Sunday. Torii Hunter scored the winning run on J.D. Martinez's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

    "It's not over until the last out is made and we kept battling," Hunter said.

    Detroit captured the final two games of the weekend set. Victor Martinez was 5 for 8 with three RBIs in those wins and Kinsler was 5 for 10 with three RBIs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     Kansas CityDetroit
    Current StreakW1W1
    Last 106-46-4

    Pitching Matchup

    Kansas CityDetroit
    J. Vargas
    11-10, 3.71 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/24 at CLE
    4.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = ND
    J. Verlander
    15-12, 4.54 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/24 vs CHW
    8.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Kansas CityDetroit
    1. N. Aoki, RF R. Davis, LF
    2. O. Infante, 2B I. Kinsler, 2B
    3. E. Hosmer, 1B M. Cabrera, 1B
    4. B. Butler, DH V. Martinez, DH
    5. A. Gordon, LF T. Hunter, RF
    6. S. Perez, C A. Jackson, CF
    7. L. Cain, CF N. Castellanos, 3B
    8. M. Moustakas, 3B A. Avila, C
    9. A. Escobar, SS E. Suarez, SS

    Research Notes

    Justin Verlander (DET): 7 ER allowed through 6 IP. He's now allowed 5+ runs in 6 of his last 7 starts. This is the 3rd game this season he's allowed at least 7 runs in a start....which ties his career-high for a single season (done in both 2007 and 2008).
    Justin Verlander has allowed at least 5 runs in 6 of his last 7 starts, and his era this year would be a career low It's been a downward trend in E-R-A for him since winning the AL CY Young in 2011... ...and his average fastball velocity has dropped each season since.
    FROM ELIAS: Justin Verlander is 1 of 2 former CY Young winners to have a stretch allowing 5+ ER in 6 of 7 starts. The other was Gaylord Perry (7 straight in 1975)
    The Royals scored a season-high 11 runs Monday and their offense has been on a tear since May 29th. They are 13-4 over that span, including an active 8-game win streak. And they've trimmed the Tigers AL Central lead from 6.5 games to 0.5 games.

    ESPN Stats & Information