Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baseball Notes: Shields to Start Game 1 of ALCS

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baseball Notes: Shields to Start Game 1 of ALCS

Article excerpt

Sweep allows Shields to start Game 1 of ALCS

No surprise here. James Shields is expected to start the first game of the American League championship series for the Royals against the Orioles on Friday in Baltimore.

"Friday is Shields' fifth day," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I imagine he'll be our starter. I'm almost certain Shields will start Game 1."

The Royals' three-game sweep of the Angels in an American League division series, completed with Sunday's 8-3 victory at Kauffman Stadium, has allowed Yost to luxury of setting up his pitching order as he sees fit.

Shields, 14-10 with a 3.21 ERA during the regular season, has made two postseason starts for the Royals.

He opened the wild-card game against the A's last Tuesday, surrendering four runs in five innings and taking no decision.

In the Sunday division series clincher, Shields picked up his first postseason victory since winning a World Series game with the Rays in 2008, yielding six hits and two runs in six innings. Shields left the game with the Royals leading 7-2.

Tigers traveled bumpy road * There will be no extended October run for the Detroit Tigers, a talented team that may have peaked in the middle of May.

After a 27-12 start, Brad Ausmus' first season as manager was a wobbly one.

"We started hot and got extremely cold," Ausmus said after the Tigers were eliminated from the playoffs by Baltimore. "Seemed to be a bumpy road there after the All-Star break."

The Tigers may be running out of chances to win a World Series with this core of players.

Detroit won a fourth straight AL Central title this year, cementing this as one of the better eras in team history, but a three-game sweep in the playoffs at the hands of the Orioles ended the season on a sour note.

"New guys come in and old guys leave. I'm the last guy standing from 2006," righthander Justin Verlander said. …

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