The Tigers had their five-game winning streak stopped by Kansas City on Wednesday, as Jose Valverde was unable to hold a late lead and Detroit fell, 4-3, to the Royals in 12 innings. Ramon Santiago went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for Detroit, which finished a six-game homestand with a 5-1 record.
Detroit led 3-0 before Kansas City cut the deficit to two with a run in the top of the seventh. The Royals evened the game the following inning, scoring twice with Valverde on the hill.
"You have to be ready for the hitters," Valverde said. "And these guys hit my best pitch, a split-finger. Nothing I can do. What I can do -- we have one more series with these guys -- is do the best I can to get all my pitches working better and better."
Getting the call for the Tigers tonight will be righty Max Scherzer, who has won his last two starts. Scherzer evened his record at 9-9 on the year Saturday against Cleveland, as he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in seven frames. He also fanned eight and walked a pair in the win.
Scherzer, who has never faced the Blue Jays, has allowed more than one earned run just twice in his last seven starts and has lowered his earned run average on the year to 3.73.
Toronto, meanwhile, comes into tonight's tilt on the heels of taking two of three from the New York Yankees. The Jays won Wednesday's rubber match, as Vernon Wells finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle and drove in four runs to power his team to a 6-3 win.
Wells finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Aaron Hill added a solo home run and scored twice for the Jays, who have won just three of their last eight games.
Brett Cecil (11-6) turned in a strong eight-inning performance to grab the win, permitting two runs on seven hits while walking two and fanning five.
"He's probably pitched as well as anybody on this club all year," manager Cito Gaston said of Cecil. "I keep thinking and saying that I think this kid, he belongs here. He feels like he belongs here and he's got some confidence going."
Heading to the hill for the Jays tonight will be left-hander Ricky Romero, who is 10-7 with a 3.50 ERA. Battling a sore throat, Romero did not get a decision Saturday in Boston, as the Red Sox managed four runs and nine hits in seven innings against him in a 5-4 Toronto loss.
Romero lost to the Tigers the last time he faced them and is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts against them.
Toronto has split its four matchups with the Tigers this season after taking five of the eight matchups between the teams a year ago.