MLB

more stats

American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 15th (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (62-56) at Detroit Tigers (70-49), 7:08 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (12-8, 4.10) Detroit - Anibal Sanchez (10-7, 2.58)

(Sports Network) - Both the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals have followed up a hot stretch with some recent struggles.

The two AL Central rivals begin a five-game series that spans four days, with the Royals hoping to make up some ground on the first-place Tigers in Thursday's opener.

Detroit owns a six-game edge over Cleveland for the top spot in the division and is 7 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City, which trails the AL's second wild card spot by 4 1/2 contests. That makes this a big series for both teams and they'll see plenty of each other with a doubleheader on tap for Friday.

The Royals thrust themselves back into the playoff picture by winning each of their first seven series following the All-Star break. That includes taking two of three from the Tigers at home from July 19-21, giving them a 5-3 advantage in the season series.

Kansas City won for the 17th time in 20 games by winning Monday's opener with the Miami Marlins, but had its string of series victories snapped after losing the final two games of the set. That gave the Royals back-to-back losses for the first time since July 21-22 and a 6-4 record on a 10-game homestand.

"It's a tough one to swallow, but at the same time we've just got to look ahead. We've got five games in Detroit and we can make up some serious ground," said Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer following Wednesday's 5-2 setback to the Marlins.

The Tigers prevented the Royals from gaining too much ground in the AL Central by winning 12 straight from July 26-Aug. 8. However, they are just 2-4 in six games since the streak and needed Wednesday's 6-4 victory to avoid getting swept in three games by the last-place Chicago White Sox.

Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer in yesterday's win and leads the majors with a .360 batting average and 114 RBI. He is also second with 38 homers despite a nagging abdominal strain as well as some other bumps and bruises.

"Hopefully we can get him healthy because as the manager, you almost feel bad, to be honest with you, playing him, because I can see that he's hurting some," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But he wanted to play today and I put him in there."

Cabrera is 11-for-32 (.344) lifetime versus tonight's starter for the Royals, Jeremy Guthrie, with three homers and eight RBI.

Guthrie had a string of four straight winning starts snapped on Saturday with a 5-3 loss to Boston. He allowed all five runs on 10 hits over six innings of work, striking out five while logging a career-high 123 pitches.

The right-hander, now 12-8 with a 4.10 earned run average in 24 starts this season, had given up just three runs over his previous three starts, though his winning streak began with a 6-5 win over Detroit on July 20. Guthrie allowed five runs on 10 hits over six innings in that game as well, leaving the 34-year-old 7-3 lifetime in this matchup with a 4.06 ERA in 16 games (13 starts).

The Tigers counter with Anibal Sanchez, who has given up two runs or fewer in five straight and eight of his past nine starts.

The right-handed Sanchez won his third straight decision on Saturday, holding the New York Yankees to a pair of runs on four hits and a walk over seven innings. He also struck out eight while improving to 10-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 20 starts this season.

Sanchez, 29, lost at Kansas City on July 19 despite six innings of one-run ball. He minimized the damage despite four hits and five walks allowed, but dropped a 1-0 decision.

Sanchez has allowed just two runs over 22 career innings versus the Royals, posting a 0.82 ERA in three starts but producing just a 1-2 record.

08/15 10:29:25 ET

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Today at 1:05 pm on 620am

  • NBA: Bobcats at Miami

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR