1. Detroit Tigers (66-45), 2. Cleveland Indians (62-51), 3. Kansas City Royals (57-53), 4. Minnesota Twins (49-61)
As of August 7, 2013
The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are in a battle at the top of the American League Central.
Things haven’t started out the way the Indians were hoping in their four game set with the Tigers. In the opener on Monday night, the Indians held a 2-1 lead going into the ninth when closer Chris Perez proceeded to allow four runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out to blow the save. The Tigers used the momentum from their big win on Monday night and followed it up with a 5-1 victory on Tuesday that saw Justin Verlander toss eight dominant innings. With their lead now up to five games in the division race, they’ll be looking to win the series on Wednesday night when Doug Fister takes on Danny Salazar. Cleveland wasted a great outing from Corey Kluber in the opener and then watched Justin Masterson get roughed up for five runs in seven innings on Tuesday night. After finishing up with the Tigers, they’ll host the Angels and then travel to Minnesota next week. Detroit heads to the Bronx to take on the Yankees and then to Chicago to play the White Sox. The Indians are currently 1.5 games behind the Texas Rangers for the final Wild Card spot.
In Kansas City the Royals have been red hot and now find themselves just 8.5 out in the division and 5 games back in the Wild Card race. After taking two of three from the New York Mets over the weekend, they started out their series with the Minnesota Twins with a 13-0 blowout victory. Eric Hosmer went 3-for-5 with five RBI’s and is now up to .293 on the year. Mike Moustakas, who has struggled for much of the year, added four hits in the game. Kansas City had the favor returned on Tuesday night when the Twins roughed up James Shields in a 7-0 win. Shields has been a little shaky in his last couple of outings, but he’s still a difference maker at the top of the rotation. Kansas City needs to take this series with the Twins because they’ve got four tough ones coming up with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.
Minnesota got a great outing from Andrew Albers in his first start of the year, as the young left hander tossed 8 1/3 innings of four hit baseball to pick up the win on Tuesday night. Brian Dozier had a couple of hits, including his 10th home run of the season, and Justin Morneau also added a two run blast in the first inning as the Twins jumped out in front early. They’re still 12 games under .500, but they’ll play hard for Ron Gardenhire. Shortstop Pedro Florimon is still battling a sore wrist that he injured last week. Minnesota’s most consistent pitcher, Samuel Deduno, takes the ball on Wednesday night as the Twins look to take two of three from Kansas City. The Twins will travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox over the weekend before returning home to host the Indians.
Things have been miserable all season long for the White Sox, but they’ve had a great couple of nights against the Yankees this week. They beat up Andy Pettitte on Monday night as Alexei Ramirez had four hits in the 8-1 rout. Jose Quintana allowed eight hits, but just one run in 6 2/3 innings to improve his record to 6-3 on the year. The next night, the Sox picked up the 3-2 win behind Chris Sale, even though it wasn’t the left handers best start of the year. Sale walked four and allowed five hits, but allowed just one run in the win. Addison Reed allowed a run in the ninth inning before closing things out for his 27th save of the year.