Not many teams have figured out how to pitch to the Detroit Tigers this season.
The Kansas City Royals are one of the few.
The Royals seek a third straight win over the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Kansas City pulled within 6 1/2 games of AL Central-leading Detroit after Friday's doubleheader sweep.
"We wanted to come in here and make a statement against these guys," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
"You play 18 innings against a team like that and give up one run, you're doing something special," Yost said.
Kansas City has handed high-powered Detroit three of its four lowest hit totals of the season."It's not a concern. We got what we got. It's pretty simple," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Both teams got great pitching, and we didn't must enough offense."
The Tigers (71-51) rank second in the majors in runs (614) and fifth in home runs (141), but have been powerless against the Royals. Detroit is hitting .238 with five home runs in going 4-7 against Kansas City, with the Royals (64-57) boasting a 2.45 team ERA.
Cabrera, however, has had some success against scheduled starter Wade Davis (6-9, 5.29 ERA), going 5 for 14 with two homers and double.
Hunter is hitless in six at-bats against Davis this season, but Omar Infante is 5 for 5.
Davis is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last three starts after posting a 10.91 ERA in losing his previous four.
The right-hander gave up seven runs - three earned - over 3 2-3 innings in a 7-5 loss in Detroit on April 24, and allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings against the Tigers on June 11.
The Tigers turn to Doug Fister (10-6, 3.60), who allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox - his first defeat in nine starts. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his previous four outings.
"I think it was a combination of he didn't have his real good curveball or his command," Leyland told the team's official site. "I thought that pretty much summed it up."
Fister is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two stats against the Royals this season and has shut down the heart of Kansas City's batting order, as Billy Butler , Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer are a combined 3 for 21.
Hosmer, who is batting .316 since May 19, hit two home runs Friday after having just one in 21 prior games.
|Kansas City Royals|
|August 13, 2013||Mike Moustakas||Day-to-Day||Strained left calf|
|August 11, 2013||Miguel Tejada||60-Day DL||Strained right calf|
|August 09, 2013||Lorenzo Cain||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|August 04, 2013||Salvador Perez||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 04, 2013||David Lough||Day-to-Day||Right quad tightness|
|August 04, 2013||Salvador Perez||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 11, 2013||Alex Avila||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 31, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained lower abdomen|
|July 31, 2013||Luis Marte||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
DETROIT (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera 's body is making it difficult for him to run without appearing to be in pain.
Luckily for the Tigers, it's not keeping the reigning Triple Crown winner from swinging the bat really well.
Cabrera hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the ninth inning, lifting Detroit to a 6-5 win over Kansas City on Saturday night hours after Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was suspended for at least the rest of this season for testing positive for an amphetamine.
"Every at-bat, every game, you want to do something good, because I think people pay for that," Cabrera said.
Cabrera has been slowed by a strained lower abdomen, injured hip and banged-up left leg. He was healthy enough to take a victory lap and looked relatively comfortable rounding the bases as a sellout crowd of 41,850 cheered.
"When you hit a home run like that, you're loose, smooth," he said.
Cabrera leads the major leagues with a .358 batting average and 117 RBIs and trails only Baltimore's Chris Davis in homers.
Aaron Crow (7-4) threw five pitches, with Cabrera hitting his 3-1 offering for an opposite field homer, his 39th, driving a fastball high and outside just over the right-field wall.
"There's not three hitters in baseball that could hit that pitch out of the ballpark," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's one of them. Take your hat off to him."
Joaquin Benoit (3-0) gave up only one walk in the ninth for the win.
Prince Fielder hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning and made a good defensive play for the third out of the ninth.
Kansas City tied the game for a third time in the eighth inning when Emilo Bonifacio singled, stole second, advanced on a throwing era by Detroit's backup catcher and scored on Chris Getz 's RBI single off Jose Veras .
"We couldn't get the lead," Yost said.
Detroit starter Doug Fister gave up three runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings. After throwing a season-high 118 pitches, he was replaced by Drew Smyly , who gave up a game-tying homer to Salvador Perez on a 1-2 count with two outs in the seventh.
Kansas City starter Wade Davis allowed four runs on eight hits and lasted just 3 2-3 innings.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland and catcher Brayan Pena were ejected in the fourth inning after a call went against Detroit and helped Kansas City tie the game.
The Tigers were angry because Kansas City's Alcides Escobar appeared to foul off a pitch with a check swing after the ball hit the dirt. The umpiring crew, though, ruled that it was a wild pitch and that allowed Chris Getz to advance from first to third base.
Leyland was ejected and went on the field a second time, directing a demonstrative rant toward first base umpire Bob Davidson .
After Escobar hit a game-tying double, Pena had more to say about the call and was tossed by plate umpire Mike Muchlinski.
Davidson took the blame for missing the call.
"That's really on me because I should've seen the ball change directions," Davidson said following the game.
In the home half of the inning, Cabrera put Detroit ahead 4-3 with his 24th double on a hit deep into the right field corner, but barely beat the throw to second base. Cabrera, clearly, would rather play through pain than sit and hope to get healthier.
In the first inning, he hit a grounder to third that Mike Moustakas bobbled into foul territory and still managed to throw Cabrera out.
Kansas City scored two in the third inning on consecutive singles by Alex Gordon and Perez and tied it at 3 in the fourth after the disputed call that led to Leyland and Pena being ejected.
The Royals tied the game for the second time with Perez's fifth homer in the seventh and Fielder's line drive over the right-center wall - his 19th homer, and second of the series - put Detroit back ahead by a run.
Tejada will not be back in baseball any time soon, if at all.
He became the third former MVP in a month to be suspended, getting suspended for 105 games. His ban came after Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games - he's appealing - and Brewers star Ryan Braun got a 65-game penalty that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Tejada tested positive for Adderall, a substance the 39-year-old has used to treat attention deficit disorder. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because those details were not made public.
Tejada apologized in a statement released by the players' association, saying he made a mistake for taking a medication to treat a medical condition while re-applying for an exemption to use it.
NOTES: Moustakas played for the first time since leaving a game Monday with an injured left calf and Jamey Carroll pinch hit for him in the seventh. "He was fine, but his leg was starting to tire a little bit," Yost said. ... Before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne chatted about racing with Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander , who said he has taken laps at Richmond International Raceway in his own car.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.
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