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Fister fans 9 in a row, Tigers stay in first place

Sep 28th, 2012 - Sports News

DETROIT (AP) — Doug Fister set an AL record by striking out nine straight batters and the Detroit Tigers kept their lead in the Central, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday on Alex Avila's grounder in the ninth inning.

The victory gave the Tigers a two-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Fister came within one strikeout of matching Tom Seaver's major league record of 10 in a row. But the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead after seven innings, and Joaquin Benoit (5-3) allowed a solo homer by Billy Butler to tie it in the ninth.

The Royals made five errors, including one that loaded the bases in the ninth. Avila hit a grounder to first baseman Brayan Pena, who made a diving stop and touched the bag, but had no play at home.

Tim Collins (5-4) got the loss.

Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer will miss his start Friday because of a lingering shoulder problem.

Rookie Drew Smyly will start in his place at Minnesota. Scherzer left his start against Oakland on Sept. 18 after two innings because of the injury. He was able to make his next start over the weekend and pitched into the sixth.

Scherzer says he's not sure if he'll be able to pitch again in the regular season. The Tigers enter Thursday's game against Kansas City with a one-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

Scherzer is 16-7 with a 3.82 ERA and 228 strikeouts. He's been one of the best pitchers in the American League down the stretch.

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