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Doug Fister, Tigers Look To Turn It Around Vs. Royals After 2 Straight Ugly Losses

(Sports Network) – Perhaps a change of scenery is all Doug Fister needed. Tonight, the right-hander goes after his third straight win when the Detroit Tigers continue their four-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.

Fister had been a mere 3-12 with Seattle before being dealt to Detroit around the non-waiver trade deadline. Since the deal, though, Fister has gone 3-1 and has pitched to a 3.45 earned run average in five starts.

He was terrific in beating the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, as he scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings and struck out five without walking a batter.

“That is the focus every time I go out there,” Fister said. “For the most part, it’s trying to use the fastball as much as possible.”

Fister lost to the Royals while with the Mariners and is 0-2 lifetime against them with a 5.21 ERA in three starts.

Kansas City will hand the ball to lefty Jeff Francis, who is 5-14 on the year with a 4.82 ERA. Francis snapped a three start losing streak and won for the first time since July 29 on Thursday in Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to a pair of runs and six hits in six innings.

Francis lost to the Tigers back on July 10 and is 0-2 in three starts against them with a 4.05 ERA.

Kansas City jumped out in front of the Tigers on Monday, as Johnny Giavotella knocked in three runs and scored once to help the Royals to a 9-5 win. Alex Gordon homered and had four hits, while Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBI in Kansas City’s third win in five games.

Luke Hochevar (9-10) pitched into the eighth inning, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks while fanning seven to snap a four-start winless skid.

Miguel Cabrera had three hits, knocked in a run and crossed the plate once as the AL Central-leading Tigers dropped their second straight contest.

Max Scherzer (13-8) was touched for seven runs on 10 hits and a walk through just three-plus innings for the loss.

“He’s pitched well against him this year, but we were able to get to him today,” Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said. “He’s having a great year, but today was one of those days we were feeling good and put something together.”

Detroit still holds a five-game lead over the Chicago White Sox and a 5 1/2- game advantage over the Cleveland Indians for first place in the AL Central.

Detroit is 8-5 this season versus the Royals.