American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 10
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (50-37) at Kansas City Royals (47-43), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Drew Smyly (4-8, 3.89)
Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (5-7, 4.10)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals can send a message to the Detroit
Tigers this weekend, as the American League Central front-runners close the
first half of the season with a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Detroit heads into the matchup holding a 4 1/2-game edge on the Royals, who
have lost all three home games they have played against the Tigers this
season. In fact, Detroit is 6-3 versus Kansas City on the year.
"It's going to be a big series," said Detroit starter Drew Smyly. "Hopefully
we can end on a strong note as a team and go in there and take care of
The Tigers won for the 14th time in 19 games on Wednesday, as Max Scherzer
outdueled Zack Greinke and Detroit pulled out a 4-1 victory over the Los
Scherzer (11-3) allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings and
struck out seven, while winning his third straight decision.
"I have a lot of respect for what the Dodgers have been able to do, especially
Greinke," Scherzer said. "When I can have a good game and go out there and
help my team to win in a game like this against the quality of an opponent we
were facing, that makes me feel good."
Smyly has lost four of his last five starts and has looked bad his last two
times out. He lost to Tampa on Friday, surrendering five runs and seven hits
in 5 1/3 frames to fall to 4-8 on the year to go along with a 3.89 ERA. He had
been tagged for four runs in just 2 1/3 innings in his previous outing.
Smyly has faced the Royals 12 times (4 starts) and is 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jeremy Guthrie, who is 5-7
with a 4.10 ERA. Guthrie was also battered his last time out, as Cleveland
rocked him for six runs and 11 hits in four innings on Saturday.
"They just hit everything," Guthrie said. "I kept the ball down for the most
part. A lot of singles -- they just kept hitting it where we weren't, and they
just kept piling up."
Guthrie beat Smyly and the Tigers back on June 18 and is 8-5 lifetime versus
them with a 3.92 ERA in 19 games (16 starts).
Kansas City managed a series win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, as
Salvador Perez's go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning proved to be the
difference in the Royals' 5-4 win.
"That's the difference between 4 1/2 games back compared to 5 1/2 games back,"
manager Ned Yost said. "Definitely nice to have a little momentum going home."
Aaron Crow (4-1) tossed a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win. Starter
Yordano Ventura gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon's availability in this series is up in the air
due to a sprained wrist.
"We'll get him back to Kansas City and have our hand specialist check him, and
see where we're at," Yost said.
07/10 10:40:38 ET