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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tigers trying to get over Mendoza line

The Detroit Tigers (89-64) come into the two-game road series with the Royals holding a one-game advantage over the Texas Rangers for home-field advantage in the first round, and trailing the Yankees by 3.5 games for home-field throughout the American League playoffs.

The scrappy Royals have the second-best record (6-10) of any AL Central opponent against the Tigers this season, having split the recent four-game set at Comerica Park. Until the recent split in Oakland, the Tigers had won 9 of 10 series, with only the split keeping them from a clean sweep. The Tigers will be facing right-hander Luis Mendoza, who pitched all of this season at Triple-A Omaha.

Here are the lineups/matchups for Game 1 of the series.

Detroit Tigers (89-64):
(Career vs. Mendoza in parentheses)
Austin Jackson, CF (1.000, 1-for-1)
Don Kelly, 3B (.000, 0-for-1)
Delmon Young, LF (n/a)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (.500, 1-for-2, 1 HR)
Victor Martinez, DH (n/a)
Alex Avila, C (n/a)
Jhonny Peralta, SS (n/a)
Andy Dirks, RF (n/a)
Ramon Santiago, 2B (.000, 0-for-2)

Starting pitcher:
Brad Penny
2011 season: 10-10, 5.07 ERA, 1.532 WHIP
2011 vs. KC: 1-0, 8 IP, 0 ER, 0.625 WHIP
Career vs. KC: 3 GS, 1-1, 2.70 ERA, 16.2 IP

Kansas City Royals (67-87):
(Career vs. Penny in parentheses)
Alex Gordon, LF (.333, 1-for-3)
Melky Cabrera, CF (.250, 2-for-8)
Eric Hosmer, 1B (.000, 0-for-3)
Jeff Francoeur, RF (.333, 4-for-12, 1 HR)
Mike Moustakas, 3B (n/a)
Johnny Giavotella, 2B (n/a)
Mitch Maier, DH (n/a)
Salvador Perez, C (n/a)
Alcides Escobar, SS (.000, 0-for-3)

Starting pitcher:
Luis Mendoza
Had his contract purchased Saturday from Triple-A Omaha, where he was 10-3 as a starter, 12-5 overall.
2010 season in MLB: 0-1, 4G, 0 starts, 22.50 ERA, 3.250 WHIP
Career vs. DET: 0-1, 19.29 ERA, 2.1 IP (Mendoza gave up 5 ER in 1.2 IP in the third game of last season, pitching the eighth and ninth in a 7-3 loss.)

FOX Sports Detroit play-by-play man Mario Impemba tweeted out an update on the upcoming pitching rotation, saying that rookie Jacob Turner will pitch Thursday, Justin Verlander will pitch Saturday and Max Scherzer/Doug Fister will split Wednesday's game.


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