Some thunder from the bat of Air Laird, some cleverly induced wild pitches, and the 6-3 Tigers head to Kansas City to once again defend their perch atop the AL Central, in their 2012 night game debut.
Without the big bat of Laird in tonight’s lineup, the Tigers will have to depend on help from unlikely sources, perhaps even Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is in the midst of an 0-18 slump, the longest since he went 0-23 as a wee tyke on the Marlins.
Justin Verlander will try for a third straight brilliant start, and hope this one ends better than the other two did. And if the Royals choke, he may even get the save. If anyone on the Royals is going to give him trouble, it is, unsurprisingly, the dreaded Bill Butler, who has hit Verlander at a career .359 pace.
2nd-year lefty Danny Duffy will take the mound for the Royals. Duffy was 0-2, 5.63 against Detroit last season, but is fresh off 6 shutout innings with 1 hit, 4 walks against Oakland.
Today’s Player of the Pregame: Delmon Young
Young’s bat started to heat up against the White Sox, and he should welcome the Kauffman stadium lights. Delmon is a career .304 hitter in night games, vs. .255 in day games. And as DH, he doesn’t have to dizzy himself in left.
Today’s Under-the-Lights Lineup: