Justin Verlander has endured a trying 2014, and a recent scandal didn't make matters any easier for him. He'll try to do exactly that Wednesday night as he looks to lead Detroit to a sixth consecutive road win over the Cleveland Indians for the first time in 26 years. Verlander (12-11, 4.68 ERA) has compiled the second-worst ERA of his career and his 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings marks his worst rate since averaging 6.0 in 2006.
Though their offense has been struggling of late, the Kansas City Royals continue finding ways to win. Looking to provide Jason Vargas with some much-needed run support, the AL Central leaders try to complete their first home sweep of the Texas Rangers in seven seasons Wednesday night. A day after scoring all of its runs in the first four innings then holding on for a 4-3 victory over Texas (53-85), Kansas City needed a tiebreaking single from Salvador Perez in the eighth to win 2-1 on Tuesday. Not including Sunday's game that was suspended by rain with the Royals (76-61) trailing 4-2 in the 10th, they've scored one or two runs six times in the last complete nine contests.
For eight innings, the Tigers couldn't connect in the clutch. One swing by J.D. Martinez changed their mood. Martinez hit a three-run homer off closer Cody Allen with one out in the ninth inning, rallying the Tigers to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. ''He hit it so hard, it sounded like thunder,'' teammate Torii Hunter said.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and girlfriend Kate Upton were among several celebrities whose private — and in some cases very personal — photos were allegedly stolen by hackers who tapped into their phones and published them on the internet. The scandal has garnered much attention on gossip sites and social media since blowing up over the weekend, but many of the parties directly involved have remained mostly silent. That includes Verlander, who on Tuesday attempted to deflect attention from the scandal and keep it strictly on baseball while meeting with the media. From The Detroit Press: "I'm not going to comment on my personal life," Verlander said in the Tigers' clubhouse before tonight's game against the Cleveland Indians. "I never have, and I never plan on it. I keep my personal life personal. "The focus for me is on the Detroit Tigers. I don't want to take any focus away from this team and what we're trying to accomplish. We're in the middle of a pennant race. We're trying to win a pennant. And all of my focus currently is on doing whatever I can to help our team win our division." The photos, which in some instances appear to show Verlander and Upton in states of undress, are believed to be taken over a period beginning in June of 2013 and extending through July of 2014. Deadspin has put together a partial timeline utilizing Exif data that helps connect Verlander to the photos in question. Upton's legal team has already vowed legal action against those involved in the alleged hacking. It's reported the FBI is now fully involved in the investigation. The timing couldn't be much worse for Verlander on a personal or professional level. Obviously, he'll be counted on by the Tigers to contribute on a high level as they battle the Kansas City Royals down the stretch, but that's already been potentially compromised by shoulder issues. Now this becomes a talking point that will likely follow him and the team around in the coming weeks, even as they try to brush it aside. Will it be a major distraction? Not likely. These guys are professionals, after all. But as long as it's there and discussed it will be somewhere in their minds, which definitely makes it a nuisance. And nobody appreciates a nuisance. As for Verlander, he'll get his first real test (and/or chance to escape the drama) on Wednesday. He's scheduled to start against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813
Justin Verlander wants to keep his private life just that - private. The Tigers' star pitcher commented for the first time Tuesday after nude photos of him and model girlfriend Kate Upton were allegedly hacked from an online account and posted on the Internet. Verlander, who initially declined comment on the situation, spoke to reporters before Detroit played the Indians. The focus for me is on the Detroit Tigers.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Indians have activated outfielder Ryan Raburn from the disabled list.
David Price would like to forget everything about Aug. 27, maybe the ugliest game of his career. Price bounced back from an alarming start and Miguel Cabrera homered twice, hitting one of Detroit's three homers off Cleveland's Corey Kluber, as the Tigers rolled to a 12-1 win on Monday to slow the Indians' climb in the standings. ''That left a bad taste in my mouth.'' Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Kluber (13-9) and Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez connected for consecutive shots in the third off Cleveland's ace. ''His bat's not broken.'' Rookie Tyler Collins hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot in the ninth, as the Tigers pounded out a season-high 20 hits.
Jason Giambi's long career, the highs and lows and everything in-between, has brought the slugger back to his beginnings. ''I guess I've come full circle,'' the Indians slugger said. When Giambi broke in with the Oakland Athletics 21 years ago he was given No. 72 and a locker near Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, one of the most intimidating closers in history. ''Turns out he was a teddy bear and we became close friends.'' Giambi, who also missed time this season with a broken rib and strained calf, needed a new number after surrendering No. 25 to former Indians star Jim Thome, who signed a one-day contract to officially retirie with Cleveland earlier this season when the club unveiled a statue in his honor.
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