Vargas seeks AL-best 13th win against Tigers

Vargas seeks AL-best 13th win against Tigers

Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will look to reverse a recent stretch of poor starts when he squares off against Royals lefty Jason Vargas in the series opener on Monday at Kauffman Stadium.

Over his last three starts, Zimmermann (5-7, 5.87 ERA) has allowed 14 runs in 12 2/3 innings (10.33 ERA). This stretch came after he recorded four straight quality starts to begin June.

Vargas (12-3, 2.62), the American League leader in wins, is in the midst of the best season of his career. However, he ended the first half of the season by giving up a season-high three home runs and tying a season-high in runs allowed (six) against Seattle.

In 10 career starts against the Tigers, Vargas is 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA, but he hasn't faced them since 2014. Likewise, Zimmermann has not pitched against the Royals this season. In four career appearances -- three starts -- against Kansas City, Zimmermann is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA.

Three things to know about this game

• Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is 2-for-10 with four strikeouts in his career against Zimmermann.

• Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler owns a .322 average (19-for-59) against Vargaswith seven doubles, two home runs and six RBIs. The 59 at-bats are Kinsler's fifth most against an active pitcher.

•With a 7-1 record and a 1.84 ERA at Kauffman Stadium this season, Vargas has the most wins and lowest ERA at home among qualifying pitchers in the AL.

Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.