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Tuesday first 5 innings play (ytd 16-19)

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  • Tuesday first 5 innings play (ytd 16-19)

    Kansas City/Detroit over 5.5 +110:
    Kansas City (68-68) continues to make themselves a hard push for one of the AL Wildcards as they head into Tuesday night action 3 games behind Minnesota. On Labor Day the Royals gained some ground by holding on to defeat the Detroit Tigers 7-6 at Comerica. Alceides Escobar’s solo HR in the top of the 8th proved to be the winning run as Nick Castellanos’ 3 run blast in the bottom of the 9th inning made things awfully interesting. Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez also homered, while Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas each had 3 hits. Kansas City pounded out 16 hits in all making a winner out of Jake Junis (7-2) who allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Scott Alexander retired the final batter of the game for his 3rd save in 5 opportunities as the Royals used 6 pitchers in all. Castellanos belted his 20th of the season and drove in 4 runs for the Tigers (58-79), who dropped their 5th straight. Jeimer Candelario and Alex Presley each had 3 hits, with the latter driving in a run with an RBI triple and scored 2. Artie Lewicki (0-1) took the loss in his MLB debut surrendering 5 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings pitched with a walk and a strikeout. Alex Gordon made the defensive play of the day by leaping up and robbing Mikie Mahtook, who went 0 for 5 in the bottom of the 5th to keep KC ahead.

    The Tigers send Anibal Sanchez (3-3 6.95) to the hill this evening who returns from the DL after suffering a hamstring injury. The 33 year old 12 year right-hander last won on July 21st and has been crushed over his last 3 outings losing 2 and yielding 17 earned over his last 11 1/3 (13.54). Sanchez faces a Royals lineup that always seems to catch fire the moment one counts them out of contention. Their collective average has fallen due to a long recent losing streak last month to .257, and are averaging about 4.3 runs per contest despite their 167 HR which has vaulted them from last to 10th in the AL since the All Star Break. Hosmer (.318 23 80) leads the club in batting and is 3rd overall in the AL in that category. Melky Cabrera (.297 17 76) is 8 for his last 20 (.400) over his last 5 games including 4 hits against Minnesota this past weekend. Lorenzo Cain (.296 13 44) has 7 hits in his last 15 at bats (.467) and has been clutch in the batter’s box when it has counted. Moustakas (.277 36 81) has just one long ball since August 15th, but is third in the AL overall. Perez (.265 22 67) hopes to have turned the corner after being mired in a 3 for 25 slump (.120) over the last week. Whit Merrifield (.281 17 62) leads the club in steals with 27 while caught just 3 times (90%).

    KC counters with Jason Vargas (14-9 3.87) who after a splendid pre-ASB start has dropped 5 of his last 7 decisions since. The 34 year old 12 year southpaw has lost his last 3 appearances, roughed up last time out in a loss to Tampa Bay. Vargas allowed 5 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings of work with a walk and a strikeout, a game the Rays won 5-3. He faces a Tigers lineup that has underachieved in hitting and power all season. Despite a decent .260 clip they are near the bottom of the league with just 157 HR despite averaging 4.7 runs per game. Of course a couple of key trades, namely sending away JD Martinez, who became just the 18th player in MLB history to club 4 HR in a game, took the wind out of Detroit’s sails. They also traded Justin Upton to the Angels, so Castellanos (.252 20 80) leads the Tigers in production also hitting safely in 6 of his last 7 games (.333). Saying it has been a season to forget for Miguel Cabrera (.248 14 57) is an understatement mired in an 0 for 14 slump and serving a 6 game suspension for taking part in the brawl with the Yankees. Ian Kinsler (.235 14 39) has just 3 hits in his last 30 at bats (.100) over the last 8 games. Jose Iglesias (.265 5 51) has a 5 game hitting streak going 10 for his last 18 (.556). Victor Martinez (.255 10 47) is out for the season as he prepares to take a heart ablation procedure. Martinez has not been nearly as efficient since his 2014 peak when he belted 32 HR. James McCann (no relation to Brian) has hit safely in his last 4 (.467) and at a .263 clip thus far with 13 HR and 41 driven in.

    Ah, the pleasures of dog money. How we have had several opportunities to cash in on it, and have only done so far twice this season in 7 opportunities with a couple of pushes. We have had three such bad luck opportunities this season including a winning run caught in a rundown last time out. There are showers and cooler conditions in store this evening, but both pitchers this evening would give anything for a quality start especially KC who still has time but ground to make up for the postseason chase. The ball carries fairly well out to left center and the deepest part of the park which is 420 straight away. Both teams do have some pop in the lineup and despite the Tigers with nothing but pride to play for, they still can enjoy the final month of the season locked in the spoilers’ role. We look to inch back towards mediocrity in a season that has been challenging with a lot of tough breaks as evident by our records. Best of luck however you play!

  • #2
    A 2 run HR by Jacoby Jones cashes this one easier than pie in the bottom of the second! Thanks and congrats to all that followed!