Sunday, June 19, 2016

Zimmermann aiming to get on track against Young, KC

Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 3.46 ERA) will square off against Royals righty Chris Young (2-6, 6.15) in the finale of this four-game series on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
Back in April, Zimmermann looked to be well on his way to the best season of his career. He went 5-0 for the month, with five quality starts. His ERA sat at 0.55, as he threw at least 100 pitches in each of the outings.
But since April, Zimmermann has looked like a completely different pitcher. His ERA has gone up in each outing since his first earned run in his fourth start. After the 0.55 ERA in April and a 4.88 ERA in May, his ERA has swelled to 6.75 in June. He hasn't had a quality start since May 11.
Young will be looking for a way to finish off a trend of his own. He has given up multiple earned runs and at least one home run in every start he's made this year.
And that could be especially problematic as the Tigers have been able to get to the Royals with the long ball, hitting eight homers through the first two games of the series. That means Young will have to be especially careful with his slider, which has gotten him into trouble at times since he returned from the DL.
Things to know about this game
• In his lone start against the Royals earlier this season, Zimmermann was electric, firing 6 1/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in a win on April 20.
• Royals catcher Salvador Perez extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 3-for-4 in Saturday's rout. Perez is hitting .370 this month and is coming off back-to-back multi-hit and multi-run games.
• After going 14 games without a home run, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went deep in each of the first two games of the series. He already has more homers against the Royals this year than just the one he hit against them last year.

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