The Kansas City Royals have little to play for, but they still have a chance to make it a fifth consecutive season without a losing record, sitting two games under .500 with four to play. Kansas City looks to continue its mastery of American League-worst Detroit when its goes for a three-game sweep of the visiting Tigers on Thursday night.
Melky Cabrera, Alcides Escobar and Paulo Orlando each had two hits and two RBIs as the Royals erased an early three-run deficit Wednesday to beat the Tigers for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings. Escobar, attempting to play every game for the second straight season, is 8-for-14 against scheduled Tigers starter Daniel Morris, who will oppose another left-hander in Danny Duffy. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario continues to make a late-season impresson with Detroit, batting .354 with 12 RBIs in September. The Tigers have dropped nine in a row and 22 of 26 and need to win one of their final four games to avoid reaching 100 losses.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Kansas City
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Daniel Norris (4-8, 5.59 ERA) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (9-9, 3.68)
Moved back to the rotation after making four bullpen appearances this month, Norris was knocked around for five runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Minnesota on Friday. He had a forgettable start against Kansas City on June 28, giving up five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, and tossed five innings of three-run ball versus the Royals on May 29. Whit Merrifield is 4-for-7 against Norris.
Duffy has been solid in both starts since spending nearly a month on the disabled list, taking the lost despite giving up one hit — a two-run homer — at Cleveland and following that with six innings of two-run ball to beat the Chicago White Sox six days later. He won at Detroit with six innings of one-run ball on July 25 to improve to 7-7 against the Tigers. Jose Iglesias is 6-for-19 against Duffy.
1. Tigers LF Alex Presley is 7-for-16 during a four-game winning streak.
2. Escobar is 25-for-67 against Detroit this season.
3. Tigers OF Andrew Romine will play all nine positions Sunday against Minnesota.
PREDICTION: Royals 7, Tigers 4