KC 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2
Det 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 4
Date of game: 9/9/2014

Recap: Detroit vs. Kansas City

Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer atoned for his last start against Kansas City at Comerica Park and helped the Detroit Tigers forge a virtual tie atop the AL Central.

Scherzer tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball and the Tigers topped the Royals, 4-2, in the middle test of a three-game set.

Scherzer (16-5) gave up seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts for the Tigers. Kansas City had roughed up the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner for a career-high tying 10 runs on 10 hits on June 17 in Detroit.

The Royals put their first two runners on base against Joe Nathan in the ninth, but the closer struck out Alex Gordon, picked off pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson at second base and fanned Salvador Perez to notch his 30th save of the season and pull the Tigers within percentage points of Kansas City in the division standings.

"This is a huge series and we're getting huge wins," Scherzer said. "We're playing great as a team and everybody is contributing."

Rajai Davis smacked a two-run homer and J.D. Martinez added a solo shot in the triumph.

Jason Vargas (11-8) surrendered four runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings for Kansas City, which had won five of six prior to dropping the first two games of this set.

Detroit staked Scherzer to an early lead by plating a run in the first inning and two more in the second.

Torii Hunter rolled a one-out base hit up the middle in the first and Miguel Cabrera followed by blooping a double to right off the end of his bat. After Victor Martinez was intentionally walked, J.D. Martinez lifted a deep sacrifice fly to the warning track in right to bring in Hunter.

Davis belted his two-run shot into the seats in left to make it 3-0 in the second.

The Royals got a run back in the fifth, although Scherzer limited the damage.

Three straight singles by Alcides Escobar, Nori Aoki and Omar Infante plated a run and Gordon walked to load the bases with one out. Perez, though, lined out to third before Scherzer struck out Eric Hosmer to end the threat.

Detroit pushed a run across in the home half to go back up by three, as J.D. Martinez launched his one-out blast over the wall in left to make it 4-1.

"Two mistake pitches, both of them in the middle of the plate," Vargas said of his two homers allowed.

Lorenzo Cain's RBI groundout in the eighth cut the deficit in half, but Detroit reliever Joba Chamberlain induced an inning-ending groundout from Escobar with Mike Moustakas at third.

Game Notes

Cabrera's double was his AL-leading 45th of the season ... Scherzer moved to 10-1 at Comerica Park this year ... Detroit was 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position, while Kansas City finished 1-for-10 and left 11 men on base.

Mountain West teams have edge in early bowl matchups

The Mountain West Conference has struggled in bowl games the last two years with a 6-7 record both straight up and against the spread. However, five of those 13 games were against Pac-12 teams.

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