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OAK@DET: Porcello retires Moss to complete shutout

Rick Porcello isn't necessarily used to receiving tons of attention the way he did over the past week as one of the five American League finalists in MLB's Final Vote.

Social media was flooded with Tigers fans using the hashtag #PickRick. His campaign fell short, with Chicago's Chris Sale coming out on top, but Porcello insists that his mind has always been on his starts.

His next one will come on Saturday night in Kansas City as Detroit tries to win its fifth straight game.

"I've really just kind of kept myself in a little shell and tried to focus on my next start and let this just take its course," Porcello said. "I've got a job to do Saturday, and that is my main focus."

Porcello was shelled in his most recent start, against the Rays, and his shutout streak of 25 innings came to a halt when he allowed seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

He'll be opposed by James Shields, who will be approaching this start like any other, even though it will come in a crucial series against the team the Royals have been chasing in the AL Central for almost the entire first half.

"It's just another game," Shields said. "I just go out there every five days and try to win a ballgame. That's what I try to do, no matter who it is."

Kansas City briefly passed Detroit in mid-June but has been losing ground since, including dropping the first two games of this four-game series. Still, the standings are of no concern to Shields just yet.

"I think I'll worry more about that when it comes closer to September," he said. "I still feel like there's quite a bit of season left. Every series is huge, and we're going to try to win every series. I think it's our job."

Shields will be facing Detroit for the third time this season. He didn't factor into the decision on Opening Day and lost on May 2, when he allowed 12 hits and eight runs.

Tigers: Bats quiet in victory
Since falling behind, 5-0, to the Dodgers in the first inning on Tuesday before surging back for a 14-5 win, the Tigers have outscored their opponents, 36-6.

Friday was not the wildly successful night at the plate that Tuesday and Thursday were for Detroit. In those two games, the Tigers combined to score 30, setting a season high for runs and then besting it later in the week.

In the second game of the four-game series with Kansas City, the bats were quiet, but Detroit still hung on to win. No runs were scored from the fourth inning onward.

Still, the recent offensive success comes as a pleasant surprise with Victor Martinez, the team's home run and batting average leader, out of the lineup with an injury.

"If you get everyone involved in the game, this is what it can look like," Torii Hunter said after Thursday night's slugfest. "Hitting is contagious. You kind of build off each other."

Royals: Rotation to change
Manager Ned Yost has had a change of heart in regard to his post-All-Star Break rotation.

Yost had initially planned to stick with the rotation he has been using of late -- Shields, Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Jeremy Guthrie and Danny Duffy.

But with Vargas out after an appendectomy, Bruce Chen will likely fill the void. The rotation now figures to line up with Shields, Duffy, Ventura, Guthrie and Chen.

Vargas is expected to to miss about three weeks as he recovers.

Worth noting
• Miguel Cabrera has humbled many pitchers, but he has really teed off on Shields, going 19-for-47 with two homers, eight doubles and eight RBIs.

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