|KANSAS CITY ( VARGAS )|
DETROIT ( VERLANDER )
|963||KANSAS CITY||+145||Ov 8,-120||+125||Ov 8.5,-120|
|964||DETROIT||-155||Un 8,+100||-135||Un 8.5,+100|
|vs Right-handed Starters||26-24||-3||25-22||4.2||0.258||0.308||4.0||0.254||0.311|
|Past 7 Games||7-0||+7.2||5-2||6.4||0.314||0.369||2.4||0.245||0.294|
|vs Left-handed Starters||12-7||+1.6||9-10||4.2||0.285||0.337||3.9||0.240||0.299|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2.6||4-3||4.3||0.287||0.331||4.7||0.249||0.332|
|6/2/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||6-0||W||130||7.5 ov||U||9||4||0||3||4||2|
|6/3/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ ST LOUIS||GARCIA(L)||8-7||W||110||7 un||O||13||6||2||10||7||0|
|6/4/2014||VARGAS(L)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||2-5||L||+115||7 ov||P||5||6||0||12||12||0|
|6/5/2014||VENTURA(R)||ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||3-2||W||-105||7.5 un||U||7||4||0||8||7||0|
|6/6/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||NY YANKEES||WHITLEY(R)||2-4||L||+105||8 un||U||7||4||1||8||6||0|
|6/7/2014||DUFFY(L)||NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||8-4||W||-115||8 ev||O||12||7||0||8||6||0|
|6/8/2014||SHIELDS(R)||NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||2-1||W||-125||7.5 un||U||5||2||0||8||9||0|
|6/13/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||7-2||W||120||7.5 un||O||12||9||0||7||11||0|
|6/14/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||NOESI(R)||9-1||W||-130||8.5 un||O||16||7||1||7||8||1|
|6/15/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RIENZO(R)||6-3||W||-150||8 ov||O||8||6||0||12||13||0|
|6/16/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|6/17/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)|| |
|6/18/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ DETROIT||SMYLY(L)|| |
|6/19/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)|| |
|6/23/2014|| ||LA DODGERS|| || |
|6/6/2014||SMYLY(L)||BOSTON||DE LA ROSA(R)||6-2||W||-150||8 ov||P||13||5||1||7||6||0|
|6/9/2014||PORCELLO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||NOESI(R)||5-6||L||-125||8.5 ev||O||10||6||3||11||8||0|
|6/11/2014||VERLANDER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||2-8||L||-150||9 un||O||9||10||1||12||10||0|
|6/12/2014||SCHERZER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||4-0||W||105||7 ov||U||10||5||1||3||7||0|
|6/16/2014||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)|| |
|6/17/2014||SCHERZER(R)||KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)|| |
|6/18/2014||SMYLY(L)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|6/19/2014||SANCHEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)|| |
|6/20/2014||PORCELLO(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)|| |
|6/21/2014||VERLANDER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||BAUER(R)|| |
|6/22/2014||SCHERZER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||TOMLIN(R)|| |
|KANSAS CITY: KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - James Shields thinks back to last year, thoughtfully piecing together what was missing from the Kansas City Royals as they made a late push for the postseason.|
The pitching was strong. The offense was coming around. The defense was sublime.
He finally settled on experience.
''These guys that didn't realize or have never been to September, when you're fighting for a playoff spot, now you have that experience,'' Shields said. ''And I think that was one of the things we were lacking last season, the experience. You tend to put too much on your shoulders. And I think the second half we definitely relaxed and put all that aside and had fun and played the game the way we know how to play, and it showed.
''I think with the experience factor now,'' Shields concluded, ''we're ready to go.''
After finishing 86-76 a year ago, and contending into September for the first time in a decade, the Royals have their sets sight squarely on their first playoff appearance since 1985 this year.
Anything less would be a disappointment. Anything less would be a failure.
''Last year was a blast. When the end of the season came in Chicago, nobody wanted to leave,'' first baseman Eric Hosmer said. ''They knew how close we were. We were right there. And it left a good taste in everyone's mouth going into the offseason, knowing how good everyone can be.''
Indeed, the Royals return most of their key players from a year ago, signing left-hander Jason Vargas to replace their only significant loss, starting pitcher Ervin Santana. They also upgraded at their weakest spots, trading for Norichika Aoki to play right field and bat leadoff and signing Omar Infante to settle a second base position that has been a black hole for years.
All of which left the notoriously frugal franchise with a record-setting payroll.
Royals manager Ned Yost hopes all those moves will pay off for a rotation that was among the league's best last year, and an offense that was among the league's worst.
''It's going to be a lineup that has offensive sequence from one to nine. You're not going to have any dead spots,'' Yost said. ''You're not going to get something going and then bam, run into a wall and have to get going again. At least, I hope not. I don't think so.''
So with more experience and an upgraded lineup, Kansas City enters its season opener Sunday at Detroit with boundless enthusiasm.
|DETROIT: DETROIT (AP) - When Justin Verlander takes the mound for Detroit on opening day, maybe then the Tigers will be able to enjoy a much-needed sense of normalcy.|
As an offseason of drama gave way to spring training injuries, it was easy to forget the Tigers still have one of the most talented rosters in baseball. Sure, there have been some early problems for new manager Brad Ausmus to address, Detroit still figures to be the favorite to win its fourth consecutive AL Central title.
''We have a new look this year,'' outfielder Torii Hunter said. ''Little bit more speed and we'll miss the big man, but we'll score some runs.''
The ''big man'' is Prince Fielder, whom the Tigers traded to Texas in a blockbuster deal that brought second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit. That move gave the Tigers more financial flexibility, although they weren't all that aggressive in pursuing free agents. Detroit did sign Joe Nathan to replace departed closer Joaquin Benoit.
The Tigers also traded right-hander Doug Fister to Washington.
Lately, the focus has been on right-hander Max Scherzer, who enters his final season before free agency after winning the Cy Young Award in 2013. Negotiations with the Tigers on a long-term deal have stalled.
''They respect where I'm at. I respect where they're at, and we'll revisit this after the season,'' Scherzer said. ''I still want to be in Detroit. I love this clubhouse and everything about it. There's been a history of this team signing free agents so hopefully I'll be a part of that history as well.''
But right now Scherzer's future is uncertain, and with Hunter and Victor Martinez in the final season of their contracts, it's hard to say what Detroit's 2015 roster will look like.
So the Tigers may never have a better chance to win a World Series with this group than right now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Tigers Preview* =======================
Kansas City (35-32) at Detroit (35-29), 7:08 p.m. EDT
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.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 7:04:35 PM EST|