The Detroit Tigers' stellar record in Kansas City is a major reason for their slim advantage over the Royals in the AL Central.
The Tigers will try to finish 9-1 at Kauffman Stadium this season and complete a three-game sweep in a crucial series Sunday while looking to add to their recent success against right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.Detroit (86-68) increased its lead in the Central to 2 1/2 games by holding on for a 3-2 victory Saturday.After enduring a 10-1 rout in the opener, Kansas City (83-70) had the go-ahead run taken off the scoreboard in the sixth when umpires ruled that Salvador Perez failed to tag up at third after Omar Infante lined out and Detroit committed an error.Hernan Perez, who has appeared in six games and had three at-bats since being called up from the minors Sept. 1, noticed Salvador Perez's mistake from the bench."That's a one-in-a-million play. It's unbelievable that we had someone on the bench be astute enough to see that," pitcher Max Scherzer said.Tyler Collins and Rajai Davis helped the Tigers capitalize on that break with RBI singles in the seventh. Joe Nathan ended the game by getting Raul Ibanez to ground out with runners on second and third in another tension-filled save.The Tigers, 13-5 in the season series, can finish off their second three-game sweep at Kauffman this year with another strong showing against Guthrie (11-11, 4.35 ERA).Guthrie has given up 16 runs in 6 2/3 innings over his last two matchups against Detroit. He was charged with a career high-tying eight runs and 10 hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings in a 9-5 loss at Comerica Park on Sept. 8.He rebounded to earn his first win in four starts with a 7-1 victory over Boston on Sept. 13, giving up one unearned run and three hits in eight innings."It was obviously a good bounce-back outing after the last one," he told MLB's official website.Guthrie has allowed two runs in 15 innings in his last two home starts after going 2/3 with a 6.70 ERA in his previous seven. He gave up eight runs in four innings against the Tigers in a 16-4 loss July 10 during that stretch.Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.19) is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in his last four outings against Kansas City but took a 3-0 defeat Sept. 10 as part of his current four-start winless streak. He's received five runs of support and is 0-3 with a 4.07 ERA during the slide, but has allowed four runs in 14 2/3 innings in his last two starts.Porcello was in line for the win Tuesday in Minnesota after giving up two runs in eight innings, but Nathan registered his seventh blown save in a 4-3 loss.The right-hander has a 1.19 ERA in his last five road starts and is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his past three at Kansas City.Torii Hunter will try to give him some support by adding to his .393 average and 12 RBIs in his last 13 games against Kansas City. Hunter is 4 for 6 with a home run this season against Guthrie, while Nick Castellanos, hitting .308 in his last 10 overall, is 4 for 7 with two doubles.J.D. Martinez, batting .517 in his last eight games and .442 against the Royals this season, is 2 for 6 against Guthrie in 2014 with a solo homer.Infante is 4 for 9 against Porcello this season but is 6 for 32 (.188) in his last 10 games and 0 for 10 against Detroit in that stretch.