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Royals Vs. Tigers: Detroit sweeps series, moves 2.0 games ahead of White Sox

Doug Fister set a record for consecutive strikeouts and the Tigers scored in the bottom of the ninth to sweep the Royals.

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Doug Fister wasn't aware he'd set an AL record

On Thursday, Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister set an American League record when he struck out nine consecutive batters. When asked if he knew if he was making history, Fister replied " "Honestly, I had no idea."

He may not have been aware of the record, but that's not for a lack of effort on the part of his teammates. Fister had the following to say about Prince Fielder, who was trying to let him know what he'd just done during the inning:

"He was yelling at me to step off during the inning, and I kind of looked at him. Normally, he’ll do that, to slow me down, if I’m getting too quick, as an older guy, kind of helping me out."

Fister would end up inducing a groundout to the next batter he'd face, ending his consecutive strikeout streak at nine. That total left him one strikeout short of tying Tom Seaver's major league record of ten which was set in 1970.

Fister found out about the record when he got back into the Tigers' dugout, as did his catcher Alex Avila:

"I didn't even realize it until they announced it. You don't realize those things when you're playing. That's pretty incredible."

While Fister may have just missed the major league record, he and the Tigers took another step towards winning the AL Central title with the victory on Thursday. They'll look to continue their winning ways Friday in Minnesota when they take on the Twins.

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Tigers' AL Central lead grows to 2 games

The Chicago White Sox have lost their grip on the AL Central, and the Detroit Tigers have finally decided to pounce at the opportunity.

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Tigers beat Royals in bottom of the ninth

Despite an AL-record nine consecutive strikeouts from Doug Fister, the Detroit Tigers needed to score in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 and sweep the series. The win puts the Tigers 1½ games up on the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, who host the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.

The Tigers got out to an early lead 4-0 lead after two-run first and second innings. Fister maintained the lead by striking out nine straight runners from the fourth through seventh inning. The record nine consecutive strikeouts were just a portion of the 16 straight batters retired by Fister ranging from the end of the second inning through the seventh inning.

In the eighth inning, however, Fister ran into some trouble. Consecutive doubles to open the inning from Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur began a three-run inning for the Royals. The Tigers carried that 4-3 lead into the ninth inning when Billy Butler homered off Joaquin Benoit and tied the game at fours to open the inning. Detroit was able to score in the bottom of the ninth when a bases-loaded Alex Avila grounder scored Don Kelly to give the Tigers the 5-4 victory. Benoit was credited with the win to move to 5-3; Tim Collins (5-4) picked up the loss.

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Fister strikes out nine straight batters

Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister set an AL record by striking out nine consecutive batters against the Kansas City Royals.

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Tigers go for sweep of Royals

The Detroit Tigers will go for a sweep of the Kansas City Royals and attempt to maintain sole possession of first place in the AL Central when the two face off in Detroit at 1:05 p.m. The Tigers will send Doug Fister (10-9, 3.43 ERA) to the mound, coming off his best start of the season. Last time out, Fister threw a complete-game shutout against the Minnesota Twins. Fister beat the Royals in his only outing against them this season on July 7.

The Royals will try to get their first win of the series with Luis Mendoza (8-9, 4.44), who also got a win his last time out. Despite only having one win this month, Mendoza has been strong in September, allowing two or less runs in three of his last four starts.

The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera will look to move one step closer to winning baseball's triple crown on Tuesday as well. The slugger currently leads the league in batting average and RBIs, but stands just one HR behind Josh Hamilton.

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Royals Vs. Tigers final score: Detroit wins 5-4

With five shutout innings from the bullpen, the Detroit Tigers topped the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Wednesday night. Despite a second-inning RBI single by Andy Dirks, the Tigers fell behind 4-1 in the fourth on a home run by Jeff Francoeur. Alex Avila and Austin Jackson homered in the home half of the fourth to tie the game, and the Detroit bullpen took it from there. An eighth-inning fielders choice brought home pinch runner Don Kelly with the winning run.

Detroit starter Rick Porcello completed just four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. Joaquin Benoit got the win for a scoreless eighth inning, and closer Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save of the season. Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie did not factor in the decision despite throwing seven solid innings. Reliever Kelvin Herrera took the loss.

The win gives Detroit a momentary 1/2-game lead in the American League Central. The Chicago White Sox, who entered today tied with the Tigers, are playing Cleveland tonight.

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Tigers look to righty Anibal Sanchez in Game 2

With an ideal chance to tie the Chicago White Sox for first place in the American League Central on Tuesday evening, the Detroit Tigers will look to right-hander Anibal Sanchez in the second game of four-game set with Kansas City.

Detroit batters are expected to face off against a familiar foe in Kansas City's Bruce Chen, a left-hander who held the Tigers to four hits over eight shutout innings back on Aug. 29. Chen currently sports an 11-12 record and an inordinately-high 5.22 earned-run average, but is coming off a strong outing where he also held the White Sox scoreless through 6 innings.

Eager to continue his triple crown pursuit, Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera will enter hoping to keep pace with Josh Hamilton for the AL home run lead. Though he missed time with dizziness problems last week, Hamilton smashed his 43rd homer of the season on Monday to officially wrestle one of Cabrera's three categories away for the time being.

Here are Tuesday's starting lineups for both teams:

Tigers
1. Austin Jackson - CF
2. Omar Infante - 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera - 3B
4. Prince Fielder - 1B
5. Delmon Young - DH
6. Andy Dirks - LF
7. Jhonny Peralta - SS
8. Avisail Garcia - RF
9. Gerald Laird - C
Anibal Sanchez - SP

Royals
1. Jarrod Dyson - CF
2. Alcides Escobar - SS
3. Alex Gordon - LF
4. Billy Butler - DH
5. Salvador Perez - C
6. Mike Moustakas - 3B
7. Jeff Francoeur - RF
8. Eric Hosmer - 1B
9. Johnny Giavotella - 2B
Bruce Chen - SP

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Leyland earns 600th win with Tigers

Detroit manager Jim Leyland earned his 600th win with the Tigers on Monday, making him the third Tigers manager to reach that milestone.

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