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Tigers vs. Royals: Detroit wraps up regular season with 1-0 win

The Tigers closed out the 2012 regular season with a 1-0 victory in Kansas City on Wednesday night.

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Tigers vs. Royals: Detroit closes season with win

The Detroit Tigers finished the 2012 regular season with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. While overshadowed by Miguel Cabrera's pursuit of the Triple Crown, the game was itself a pitching duel between Detroit starter Max Scherzer and Royals hurler Luis Mendoza.

The Tigers scored the game's lone run in the fifth inning, when an Austin Jackson double brought home Omar Infante. Jackson, Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Alex Avila, and Jhonny Peralta were all removed from the game early. Cabrera received a standing ovation from Kansas City fans in recognition of his achievement.

Scherzer pitched four scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out three. Tigers reliever Luis Marte got the win after throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits. Luke Putkonen pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the year.

Mendoza got the loss despite conceding just one run over seven innings. The loss drops him to 8-10 on the season.

The Tigers finished the regular season with an 88-74 record, and will start the 2012 MLB Postseason Saturday in Detroit against the Oakland A's. The Royals close their year with a 72-90 record.

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Cabrera, Scherzer to start in Wednesday's finale

Eager to close the book on a banner campaign, the Detroit Tigers will try to finish the regular season with a victory on Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals.

A mere game away from capturing the first Triple Crown since 1967, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera remains in manager Jim Leyland's lineup despite a minor concern over his slight lead for the batting average title. Cabrera leads Los Angeles' Mike Trout .331 to .324, and would appear unlikely to relinquish his crown barring some sort of marathon extra-inning game.

Also set to start the game alongside Cabrera on Wednesday is none other than right-hander Max Scherzer, the same man who was somehow injured in Monday's celebration after clinching the division. Scherzer will likely only pitch a handful of innings to stay fresh for the playoffs, but still has a great chance to extend his career-high wins total to 17.

Here are Wednesday's starting lineups for both teams:

Tigers
1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Quintin Berry (L) LF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) DH
5. Alex Avila (L) C
6. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
7. Andy Dirks (L) RF
8. Omar Infante (R) 2B
9. Don Kelly (L) 1B
Max Scherzer (R) SP

Royals
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
2. Alcides Escobar (R) SS
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Billy Butler (R) 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur (R) RF
6. Brayan Pena (S) DH
7. Adam Moore (R) C
8. Johnny Giavotella (R) 2B
9. Irving Falu (S) 3B
Luis Mendoza (R) SP

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Scherzer to start Wednesday after minor injury

Even though he was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season with an ankle injury as recently as Tuesday, Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer will reportedly start on Wednesday night, as reported by John Keating of FOX Sports Detroit.

Scherzer was originally scheduled to make one final appearance before the postseason to iron out shoulder problems that he suffered to close out the month of August. The All-Star hurler even tossed a pain-free bullpen session on Monday and was set to pitch Wednesday before having his ankle stepped on during the Tigers' on-field celebration in Game 1.

Jim Leyland and the Tigers probably don't need to see very much of Scherzer in Wednesday night's finale, but it's certainly promising to see that he won't be hampered whatsoever by the freak ankle injury. Hopefully, for Detroit's sake, his recent shoulder problems will also prove to be non-issues down the stretch and he can pick up where he left off.

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Verlander named pitcher of the month

The Tigers pitcher was on the hill for five Detroit victories as the team secured a spot in the playoffs.

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Marte to start regular season finale for Tigers

The Tigers will send out reliever Luis Marte for his first career start in the regular season finale against the Royals

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Max Scherzer hurts ankle in Monday's celebration

Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer reportedly had his ankle stepped on during Monday's celebration and has been scratched from his final start of the season.

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Doug Fister to face Kansas City in Game 2

After punching their ticket to the postseason with Monday's 6-3 win, the Detroit Tigers can rest easy on Tuesday night for Game 2 with the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.

Detroit will send right-hander Doug Fister to the mound to make his 26th start of the year, as the veteran hurler will look to tie a career-high with his 11th victory. Fister has been a consistent presence in the rotation all season, but has been especially dominant since the All-Star break with an 8-3 record and 2.51 ERA.

With the division already wrapped up, Detroit manager Jim Leyland will opt to play a number of his reserves in Tuesday's game to prepare for the playoffs. Speedy outfielder Quintin Berry will assume Austin Jackson's spot both in center field and atop the lineup, while Ramon Santiago will take over Omar Infante's role at second base.

Here are Tuesday's starting lineups:

Tigers
1. Quintin Berry (L) CF
2. Ramon Santiago (S) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Alex Avila (L) C
7. Brennan Boesch (L) RF
8. Don Kelly (L) LF
9. Danny Worth (R) SS
Doug Fister (R) SP

Royals
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
2. Alcides Escobar (R) SS
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Billy Butler (R) 1B
5. Salvador Perez (R) C
6. Jeff Francoeur (R) RF
7. Brayan Pena (S) DH
8. Tony Abreu (S) 2B
9. Irving Falu (S) 3B
Jeremy Guthrie (R) SP

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Scherzer possibly pitching Wednesday

Max Scherzer likely needs some time to pitch prior to the playoffs, and might get some time in Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals.

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Tigers looking to keep momentum going vs. Royals

With the AL Central title secured and their playoff seed locked in place, the Detroit Tigers have nothing to play for in their next two games except to keep their momentum going. Miguel Cabrera, however, is playing for the chance to earn baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967 when Detroit takes on the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. Looking for their third straight win, the Tigers will send Doug Fister (10-9, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to face Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 3.18 ERA in K.C.).

Fister has been one of the best pitchers in the American League since the All-Star break, posting a 8-3 record and a 2.51 ERA. His last time out, he struck out an AL-record nine consecutive batters. Guthrie has been good since coming over to the Royals, but gave up three home runs in his last start against the Tigers.

Cabrera needs to hold steady over the last two games if he wants to hang onto his bid for the Triple Crown. He leads the Angels' Mike Trout in batting average, .329 to .325, and the Rangers' Josh Hamilton in home runs and RBI, 44-43 and 137-127. A couple hitless games to end the season could be enough to lose it, but Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a home run on Monday.

First pitch from Kaufmann Stadium is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit.

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Detroit clinches AL Central with 6-3 win

The Detroit Tigers clinched the American League Central on Monday with a 6-3 win against the Kansas City Royals.

With a three-game lead over the Chicago White Sox and three games to play in the regular season, the Tigers only needed one win or a White Sox' loss to clinch. They wasted little time locking it up, winning the first game of their three game series with the Royals. The AL Central title is Detroit's second straight.

Rick Porcello got the win for the Tigers, allowing one run over five innings. Porcello left with a 1-0 lead, but got plenty of run support in the next inning as the Tigers scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull away. Miguel Cabrera got the rally started in the sixth inning with a solo home run, his 44th home run of the season. Cabrera finished 4-5 in the game, raising his batting average to a league leading .329. The home run also puts Cabrera in the AL lead, one more than Josh Hamilton.

The Royals cut into the Tigers 6-0 lead, but not enough as Jose Valverde recorded his 35th save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning to close the game and clinch the division for Detroit.

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Cabrera hopes to build on Kauffman Stadium success

Lineups are out for Game 1 of the season-ending series between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. As expected, Miguel Cabrera is batting third and playing third base as he continues his chase toward the Triple Crown.

Coming into Monday's game, Cabrera holds a two-point lead over Joe Mauer for the American League lead in batting average, and is tied with Josh Hamilton for the league lead in homers with 43. Cabrera has nine more runs batted in than Hamilton, so that lead appears to be safe. It is worth noting that Cabrera is a career .352 hitter, with nine home runs and 37 runs batted in, at Kauffman Stadium.

Here are the full lineups:

Tigers

1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Omar Infante 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Delmon Young DH
6. Jhonny Peralta SS
7. Andy Dirks LF
8. Avisail Garcia RF
9. Alex Avila C

Royals

1. Jarrod Dyson DH
2. Alcides Escobar SS
3. Alex Gordon LF
4. Billy Butler 1B
5. Salvador Perez C
6. Mike Moustakas 3B
7. Jeff Francoeur RF
8. David Lough CF
9. Irving Falu 2B

Rick Porcello will be on the mound for the Tigers as they attempt to clinch the AL Central division. He'll be opposed by the Royals' Bruce Chen. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

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