Lookin' for Six

The Detroit Tigers are looking to extend their winning streak to a season-high six in a row and take their third straight series from the Kansas City Royals.

To do both, the Tigers will need a better outing from Mike Maroth on Saturday when he makes his third start of the year against the Royals (10-20).

Oddsmakers have made Detroit -120 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9.5ev total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 90% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -120 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Detroit (17-11) extended its streak with a 6-3 victory on Friday in the series opener. Against Kansas City in 2007, the left-hander is 1-0 but has been tagged for eight runs and 13 hits - including two homers - in 10 2-3 innings.

Maroth (2-0, 4.82 ERA), though, has 10 of his 47 career wins against Kansas City, the most he's had against any opponent.

After winning his first two starts, Maroth has failed to record a decision in three straight outings coming into this contest. He allowed three runs and a season-high tying nine hits over 6 2-3 innings on Sunday in a 4-3 win over Minnesota.

"I had a pretty good outing," Maroth told the Tigers' official Web site. "Was able to get deeper into the game. I hadn't been able to do that so far this year. Threw a lot more strikes, got ahead of hitters, things that I need to do to be successful."

Friday's win was the Tigers' 12th in 13 road games over their AL Central rivals. Justin Verlander threw seven-plus innings to boost his career mark versus Kansas City to 5-0, and Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his league-leading 11th save in 13 chances.

Carlos Guillen, who had missed back-to-back starts with a sore shoulder, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scored a run. The Tigers' shortstop is batting .375 against the Royals this season and is 2-for-2 during his career when facing Odalis Perez (2-3, 6.91), who starts for Kansas City on Saturday.

The left-hander is trying to avoid being the team's first pitcher with four losses. He allowed three earned runs and a season-high 10 hits Monday in a 3-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.

But Perez threw 72 of his season-high 108 pitches for strikes, impressing manager Buddy Bell.

"That was the best Perez has thrown all year," Bell told the Royals' official Web site.

Perez allowed six runs and eight hits over three innings of his only career start against the Tigers, but didn't factor into the 10-8, 12-inning win on Oct. 1.

The Royals missed a chance at their first three-game winning streak of the season Friday. Mike Sweeney had a two-run double in the defeat while rookie Billy Butler had three hits, including an RBI single.

"He looks like a veteran guy," Bell said of Butler, playing just his fourth game. "I'm sure he's going to hit some stretches where things seem a little tough. He's a young kid, 21 ... That's saying a lot about a kid who just came up to the big leagues."

Kansas City's David DeJesus is batting .560 (14-for-25) with one homer and three doubles in his career versus Maroth.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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