Series: Game 2 of 4

Kansas City leads 2-0 (as of 6/17)

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

(38-32, 20-16 away)

Tigers 4

(36-31, 18-18 home)

    Coverage:  FSDT

    7:08 PM ET, June 17, 2014

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 070030100 11 15 1
    DET 020010010 4 10 0

    W: Y. Ventura (5-5)

    L: M. Scherzer (8-3)

    Royals-Tigers Preview

    The Kansas City Royals added to the woes of one Detroit Tigers star right-hander in their eighth straight win.

    Now they face a daunting task against another one as they attempt to gain the AL Central lead.

    The Tigers have won Max Scherzer's last 13 overall home starts heading into Tuesday night's matchup with first place on the line.

    Kansas City (37-32) scored seven times against struggling Justin Verlander in Monday's 11-8 victory in the opener of this four-game series. The Royals, who had been 0-5 against Detroit this year, are enjoying their longest win streak since a nine-game run July 23-Aug. 1.

    The Royals have won 11 of 13 since trailing the Tigers (36-30) by 6 1/2 games at the start of the month to pull within one-half game of the division lead.

    "We got on a nice little run here and we've made up some ground," manager Ned Yost said.

    Winning Tuesday doesn't figure to be easy since Scherzer (8-2, 3.05 ERA) is 10-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last 13 home outings, including one in the postseason.

    The Tigers have also won Scherzer's last nine starts against the Royals, with the University of Missouri product going 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA. Detroit has captured 28 of his last 31 regular-season outings at Comerica Park.

    While Alex Gordon is 7 for 18 (.389) with four extra-base hits against Scherzer since the start of 2012, most Royals regulars have struggled against him in that span. Lorenzo Cain is hitless in 12 at-bats, Eric Hosmer is 3 for 20 and Mike Moustakas 3 for 18 as the three have combined for 19 strikeouts.

    The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner finally notched the first complete game of his career by striking out eight in a three-hitter Thursday in a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. He has 106 strikeouts to rank sixth in baseball.

    "It's awesome," he said. "I finally got the monkey off my back."

    Scherzer's opponent will be Yordano Ventura (4-5, 3.20), who has posted consecutive wins for the first time. Ventura yielded one run over seven innings with no walks last Wednesday in a 4-1 victory over Cleveland.

    "He had probably one of his best games of the year, command-wise, with his fastball," Yost told the Royals' official website.

    The 23-year-old right-hander is known for a fastball that has been clocked over 100 mph heading into his first matchup with Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers.

    Billy Butler went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and former Detroit infielder Omar Infante drove in four runs Monday. Butler is 10 for 22 with 10 RBIs over his last six games.

    Both teams lost a player to cramps Monday.

    Royals catcher Salvador Perez was replaced in the seventh by Brett Hayes because of cramps in both calves but figures to be OK.

    "He's fine," Yost said. "They made him drink a bunch of fluids and gave him an IV."

    Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter left in the fourth with a cramp in his right hamstring. Hunter was replaced by J.D. Martinez, who hit his second career grand slam.

    "It's not a strain," manager Brad Ausmus insisted.

    Detroit slugger Victor Martinez is 14 for 32 during an eight-game hitting streak against Kansas City.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     Kansas CityDetroit
    Current StreakW1W1
    Last 106-46-4

    Pitching Matchup

    Kansas CityDetroit
    Y. Ventura
    14-10, 3.20 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at CHW
    4.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = ND
    M. Scherzer
    18-5, 3.15 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at DET
    6.0 IP, 2 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 J. Martinez, RF
    6. S. Perez, C N. Castellanos, 3B
    7. M. Moustakas, 3B A. Jackson, CF
    8. A. Escobar, SS A. Avila, C
    9. J. Dyson, CF E. Suarez, SS

    Research Notes

    Max Scherzer allowed 7 runs in the 2nd inning, his most in any inning in his career.
    The Royals reassigned Pedro Grifol before their game against the Blue Jays on May 29. Since then, they have been raking. Their home run rate has more than doubled.
    The Tigers are 9-19 since May 19. Their 2 aces, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer have been dreadful, and the Tigers have the worst ERA in the AL over that span (5.73).

    ESPN Stats & Information