The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer were great at the All-Star Game and played a major role in the AL’s victory.
The American League won the game by a score of 5-3, and will have home-field advantage during the World Series. So let’s take a look at how players from the AL Central performed in the Midsummer Classic and preview the weekend series for each club.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run in the first inning off Adam Wainwright that gave the AL an early lead. Ian Kinsler struck out in his only appearance at the plate. Max Scherzer picked up the win by throwing a scoreless inning, and striking out two batters.
He became the first Detroit pitcher since Jim Bunning in 1957 to earn an All-Star Game win.
The Tigers will take on the Indians after the break at home. Anibal Sanchez will get the start, as Detroit hopes to build upon their lead in the Central division in the second-half. The clubs will play a doubleheader on Saturday, and Scherzer will start in the second game. The last game of this weekend series will be started by Drew Smyly.
One thing that will be important for Detroit in second part of the season is improved performance from the bullpen.
Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez went hitless in his only at-bat of the game. Greg Holland threw a scoreless inning, and struck out one batter. James Shields gets the call to start the second-half for Kansas City against the Boston Red Sox. He will be followed by Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura in the rotation.
The Royals will try to keep pace with Detroit, until the two clubs play each other six times in September.
Michael Brantley had one plate appearance, and he didn’t get a hit. Cleveland will have Trevor Bauer starting against Detroit on Friday, and Corey Kluber will pitch in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday while Danny Salazar will get the nod in the second game of the twin bill. The Indians have a slight chance to make it interesting in the division, but will need better results from their starting rotation.
Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale threw one inning and gave up one run, while striking out a batter. Alexei Ramirez had one hit in two at-bats, and also stole a base. Jose Abreu went hitless in his only at-bat.
Jose Quintana starts the second half out for the Sox against the Houston Astros. Chicago has yet to say who will start after him, but it will probably be Sale and John Danks to close out the weekend.
The White Sox aren’t in the playoff picture, but it will be entertaining to see what Abreu does in the second part of the season.
Kurt Suzuki didn’t have an at-bat in the game, but did catch the ninth inning. Glen Perkins saved the game, and it was good to see him accomplish that in his home ballpark.
For the Twins, Kyle Gibson will start the second-half of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays. Minnesota will have Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes pitching in the last two games this weekend.
The Twins are another team that probably won’t make the postseason, but they have great talent in the minors. It’s possible we could some of the young players before this season is over.