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Major League Baseball
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Kansas City at Detroit
When: 6:10 PM ET, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan

Victor Martinez has been named an All-Star five times and played in 1,972 games over 16 seasons in the majors, including 968 with the Detroit Tigers. The 39-year-old designated hitter will play in one more time Saturday before effectively calling it a career when the Tigers host the Kansas City Royals for the third of a four-game set.

Martinez announced he would retire after this season in mid-August, but the two-time Silver slugger told reporters prior to Friday's 4-3 loss to Kansas City he wanted to play one more game in Detroit on Saturday before sitting out Sunday's series finale. "I feel like I owe it to the fans to have my final at-bats here," said Martinez, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony and intends to accompany the team on its season-ending seven-game road trip without playing. The Royals are already resigned to their first last-place finish in the American League Central since 2010, but they were able to take advantage of three Detroit errors Friday to snap a five-game losing streak. Alex Gordon tallied three hits for the second time in his last six games in the victory and is 10-for-26 with four doubles and eight RBIs over that span.

TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, FS Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.42 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Jordan Zimmermann (7-8, 4.41)

Junis recorded the shortest start of his career in Sunday's no-decision against Minnesota, surrendering four runs on eight hits - including three home runs - over only three innings. The poor outing halted a three-game stretch he went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA, allowing only 15 baserunners in 24 frames. Junis, who has given up at least three homers in an outing six times this season, logged his first career complete game on Aug. 28, yielding two runs versus the Tigers to improve to 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA in four 2018 starts against them.

Zimmermann has struggled in back-to-back home losses, yielding five runs (four earned) in five frames to Houston on Sept. 11 before permitting five runs across 3 2/3 innings Monday versus Minnesota. The two-time All-Star has surrendered multiple homers six times in 11 turns since the All-Star break, accounting for 17 of the 25 he has allowed this season. Zimmermann has rarely ever struggled against Kansas City in eight career games (seven starts), however, going 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA.

WALK-OFFS

1. Friday's victory guaranteed the Royals their fourth consecutive season series win over Detroit.

2. Kansas City INF-OF Rosell Herrera doubled and tripled Friday. Since Aug. 22, the Royals have recorded 110 extra-base hits - the most in the majors.

3. Detroit OF Nicholas Castellanos is 10-for-19 with four multi-hit games over the last five contests and is batting .386 with eight doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games this month.

PREDICTION: Royals 6, Tigers 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 53-101 W1 30-47 23-54 9-24 33-37 7-26 4-14
Detroit 62-92 L1 37-42 25-50 15-17 31-40 10-24 6-11
Last Meeting
Kansas City Detroit
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/21/18 KC 4 DET 3 .257 0 .632 .257 1 .678
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City W. Merrifield .300 21 .759
Detroit V. Martinez .339 19 .863
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City A. Mondesi 3 6 6
Detroit N. Castellanos 3 10 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 4.25 .262 119
Detroit 4.07 .257 107
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City W. Merrifield .302 181 .799
Detroit N. Castellanos .300 177 .861
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City S. Perez 26 48 76
Detroit N. Castellanos 22 82 85
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 5.02 .245 1103
Detroit 4.51 .242 1146