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LAA@KC: Guthrie throws eight innings of two-run ball

The Tigers have lost in each of Rick Porcello's last seven starts.

That's not a fact that anyone in Detroit wants to think about at this point in the season, where each game grows in importance as the Tigers jockey with the White Sox for the American League Central title.

On Tuesday, the Tigers beat the Royals, 2-0, and the White Sox lost to the Indians, 4-3, moving the teams into a tie atop the division standings.

But don't place all the blame on Porcello for the recent struggles. The right-hander is 0-6 in those seven Tigers losses, but they've been close, low-scoring contests. He allowed more than three earned runs just once, while five of those starts were one-run defeats.

One thing that could potentially work in Porcello's favor on Wednesday against the Royals is an extended period of rest. The Tigers skipped Porcello last Friday, when his scheduled start against the Twins was rained out, so the righty will be pitching on nine days' rest.

Perhaps the rest will do Porcello some good. He hasn't made it out of the sixth inning in any of his last four starts. The last time he threw more than six innings was on Aug. 7 against the Yankees, and he hasn't completed seven frames since July 21 against Chicago.

Porcello has faced the Royals twice previously this season -- going 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in those two starts.

Opposing Porcello is Jeremy Guthrie, who's turned in an impressive tenure since the Royals acquired him from the Rockies on July 20. The Royals have emerged victorious in each of Guthrie's last nine starts, and he's posted a 1.75 ERA in that stretch.

In two starts against the Tigers this season, Guthrie is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA. Only one of those starts came with the Royals, though. On Aug. 30 at Kauffman Stadium, he allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings for his sixth win of the year.

Royals: Always on the run
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson stole his 29th bag of the season on Monday. One more would give the Royals two players with 30 or more stolen bases in 2012, as Alcides Escobar has 32. The duo would become the first pair of Royals to steal 30 in the same season since Willie Wilson and Lonnie Smith did it in 1985. Those two each stole 40 bags, with Wilson nabbing 43.

• After Billy Butler's 3-for-4 performance on Monday, the All-Star's career average against Justin Verlander stands at .396. It's the highest average among hitters with at least 50 plate appearances against the Tigers' ace.

Tigers: Miggy's September surge
Third baseman Miguel Cabrera is making a historic chase for the Triple Crown, and a big month of September has put him in good position. In 23 games, he's hitting .329 with six doubles, nine home runs, 24 RBIs, 12 walks and 20 runs scored.

• Verlander tossed eight innings in Detroit's 6-2 win over the Royals on Monday, the 15th time this year he's gone at least that many frames in a start. In those 15 outings, he's 10-2 with a 1.58 ERA and 130 strikeouts.

Worth noting
• Cabrera is hitting .368 in 24 career plate appearances against Guthrie, with two home runs, four RBIs and four walks.

• In 13 career starts against the Royals, Porcello is 5-3 with a 4.50 ERA. He's allowed 43 runs in 80 innings, while striking out 47 batters.

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