Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stingy hurlers Kennedy, Zimmermann to match up

Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Kennedy have settled in quickly with their respective new teams thanks to strong starts. On Wednesday, they'll get their first experience of the division rivalry the Tigers and Royals built the last few years.
It'll be a test for both, who were the major rotation additions for their respective teams. The Tigers jumped the market by signing Zimmermann to a five-year, $110 million contract over Thanksgiving weekend. Three months later, the Royals found their replacement for Johnny Cueto in Kennedy, signing the former D-back and Padre to a five-year, $70 million deal.
Both additions have paid off big early. While Zimmermann has yet to give up a run in 13 innings, beating the Yankees and Pirates, Kennedy has 13 2/3 innings of one-run ball in wins over the Twins and Astros. They'll get a different test Wednesday night.
Things to know about this game
• Kennedy will face the Tigers for the third time since he was part of their three-team trade with the Yankees and D-backs at the 2009 Winter Meetings that brought Max Scherzer to Detroit and Curtis Granderson to New York. Scherzer's signing in Washington a year ago helped set up Zimmermann's free agency.
• Justin Upton, a former teammate of Kennedy's in Arizona, is 3-for-8 with a home run against him. Ian Kinsler is 5-for-7 with three doubles off Kennedy.
• Zimmermann beat the Royals in their only meeting in 2013, tossing 7 2/3 innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts at Kauffman Stadium in Washington's win.

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