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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 25th (All times eastern)

Kansas City Royals (10-8) at Detroit Tigers (10-9), 1:08 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - James Shields (1-2, 3.00) Detroit - Justin Verlander (2-2, 2.13)

(Sports Network) - A pair of strong-armed pitchers clash Thursday afternoon when the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals wrap up their abbreviated series from Comerica Park.

Tuesday's opener of what was supposed to be a three-game set was postponed due to inclement weather, so the two AL Central rivals opened the series on Wednesday. The Tigers prevailed, 7-5, as Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez each notched two hits and two RBI.

Omar Infante went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for Detroit, which snapped a four-game losing streak and erased a 4-1 deficit. Miguel Cabrera recorded two hits, an RBI and a run scored, and is two hits shy of becoming the 30th player in franchise history to record 1,000 hits in a Tigers uniform.

Max Scherzer was able to stay unbeaten (2-0) on the season despite giving up five runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Tigers relievers Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde kept the Royals off the board the rest of the way with Valverde nailing down his first save of the season in the ninth. Valverde was making his 2013 debut for the Tigers and was welcomed with a mix of boos and cheers.

"I don't pay attention too much to the reaction," Valverde said. "I think they were excited. But what I have in my mind all the time, when I'm running for the mound, is make good pitches, throw strikes, get a fly ball or strike them out, and that's it."

Tigers veteran outfielder Torii Hunter was 0-for-5 on Wednesday and is still two home runs shy of 300 for his career.

Detroit, which will also entertain Atlanta and Minnesota on its homestand, will send ace Justin Verlander to the mound Thursday. Verlander is 2-2 in four starts to go along with 2.13 earned run average and suffered a tough luck loss last Thursday in a 2-0 setback at Seattle. He gave up both runs and nine hits in seven innings with a season high 12 strikeouts.

Verlander has dominated Kansas City in his career as evidenced by the right- hander's 15-2 mark and 2.73 ERA in 23 starts.

Kansas City had won two straight and three of four games until suffering the recent loss in Motown.

Eric Hosmer drove in a pair of runs, while Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler had an RBI apiece for the Royals. Wade Davis was 2-0 entering the contest, but lasted only 3 2/3 innings on the mound and gave up seven runs -- three earned -- to absorb the loss.

Davis wasn't able to hold on to Kansas City's lead as the Tigers scored six runs between the third and fourth inning.

"I don't think the weather was any factor," Davis said. "I just fell behind everybody and didn't make pitches. And even when I did make pitches, they hit 'em. When you get a team like that, that can swing the bats well and you give 'em any opportunity to score runs like I did, they're going to do it."

The Royals, who will return to Kauffman Stadium after this series for a 10- game homestand versus Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Chicago (White Sox), hope James Shields can pitch them to a series split with Detroit.

Shields is just 1-2 in four starts with a 3.00 earned run average and did not figure into the decision of Saturday's 4-3 loss at Boston. He struck out eight batters, walked three and scattered four hits through six innings of one-run ball. The right-hander has fanned at least six batters in every start.

Known as "Big Game James," Shields, who has won at least 13 games in each of the past three years, has pitched big against the division-rival Tigers. In nine career starts in this series, he is 5-1 with a 3.66 ERA.

Detroit won 13 of 18 meetings with the Royals last season.

04/25 10:27:43 ET

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Norfolk Tides

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 620am

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st OT
CHA 82
CHI 80
 
12th
DUR 4
NOR 6
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
9th
PHI 0
ATL 1
 
7th
NYY 2
CHC 0
 
6th
DET 1
CLE 3
 
8th
MIA 3
WAS 4
 
4th
TEX 0
SEA 2
 
3rd
CWS 1
BOS 1
 
3rd
HOU 2
KAN 1
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
1st OT
CHA 82
CHI 80
 
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
 
Half
MIL 63
ATL 58
 
Half
CLE 51
BRK 49
 
Half
MEM 51
DAL 53
 
Half
OKC 54
DET 55
 
Half
NOP 53
HOU 50
 
3rd
SAN 51
LAL 57
 
Half
MIA 51
PHI 55
 
Half
NYK 44
TOR 57
 
Half
MIN 48
UTA 51
 
Half
BOS 56
WAS 68
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
3rd
TAM 2
MON 3
 
2nd
PIT 3
CLB 3
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
12th
DUR 4
NOR 6