|Date of game: 9/20/2014
Detroit Tigers (85-68) at Kansas City Royals (83-69), 1:05 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Luckily for the Kansas City Royals, there won't be too much time available for them to dwell on Friday night's disappointing loss to the Detroit Tigers.
The Royals get a quick chance at a turnaround on Saturday afternoon as they look to even their big three-game set with the first-place Tigers.
Kansas City was hoping to jump past Detroit and into the top spot in the American League Central in last night's opener, but instead was routed 10-1. Not only did the Royals fall 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers, but they lead the Seattle Mariners by only a half-game for the league's second wild card spot.
Detroit forced Kansas City starter Jason Vargas to throw 30 pitches during a three-run first inning and led by 10 runs after five frames. Ian Kinsler homered and drove in three runs, Eugenio Suarez knocked in a pair of runs and Justin Verlander scattered a run and seven hits over 7 1/3 innings.
"He certainly seemed like he was up for this game tonight. It was one of the best games he's thrown all year," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
It was Detroit's eighth victory in 11 games, a span that includes taking two of three from visiting Kansas City from Sept. 8-10. The Tigers are 12-5 versus the Royals this season and have won seven of eight as the guest.
Vargas, meanwhile, lasted 3 1/3 frames, charged with five runs in the loss.
Jayson Nix drove in a run during the eighth inning as the Royals fell to 3-5 on their final homestand of the season.
"There's no carryover," Royals manager Ned Yost told his team's website. "They whooped us, they beat us, they spanked us. Whatever you want to say. We'll show up tomorrow and be ready to play."
Yost does have the advantage of turning to James Shields today knowing that the right-hander recently bested the Tigers on Sept. 10.
Trying to avoid a sweep in Detroit, Shields logged seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and struck out eight Tigers to win his second straight start, though he did not factor into the outcome of his most recent outing on Monday versus the Chicago White Sox. The righty was charged with three runs on 10 hits over seven frames, fanning six without a walk.
Shields is 14-7 with a 3.15 earned run average this season and 7-5 lifetime versus the Tigers with a 4.11 ERA in 18 meetings.
The Tigers do counter with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who beat the Royals on Sept. 9 behind 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
The right-hander's next outing came on Monday at Minnesota and he did not factor into an 8-6 win, charged with four runs over seven innings to remain at 16-5 on the year with a 3.26 ERA.
Scherzer is 10-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 20 lifetime meetings with the Royals, going 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA in nine starts at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium.