Kansas City Royals (39-32) at Detroit Tigers (36-32), 1:08 p.m. (ET)

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - With a 10-game winning streak ongoing, the Kansas City Royals have secured themselves of leaving Detroit in first place in the AL Central.

However, the Royals still have a chance to post their first four-game sweep in the Motor City since 1984, a feat they'll look to accomplish on Thursday afternoon in the finale of this set with the slumping Tigers.

Kansas City has won the first three contests of this series to move 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit in the division standings and post their first 10-game win streak since a run of 14 in a row from July 23-Aug. 5, 1994.

The Royals last swept the Tigers in a four-game set in Detroit 10 years earlier in August of 1984.

After plating 11 runs in each of the first two games of this series, the Royals won a tight 2-1 encounter on Wednesday as Jeremy Guthrie threw 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball while tying a season-high with nine strikeouts.

"This could be the best game (Guthrie) has thrown all year," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "He just pitched a beautiful game."

Omar Infante connected on a solo home run and Alex Gordon drove in a run for the Royals, while Greg Holland worked around a leadoff base hit to secure the win and capture his AL-leading 21st save of the season.

Drew Smyly was the tough-luck loser for Detroit after tossing seven-plus innings and yielding two runs on seven hits while fanning six.

J.D. Martinez's solo shot was the lone run for the Tigers, who have dropped three straight and 12 of their last 17 contests.

"Every one of us has gone through losing streaks," said Tigers catcher Alex Avila. "It's frustrating because we're not playing well but it's nothing new to us."

Taking the mound today for the Royals is left-hander Danny Duffy, who has logged a scoreless outing in two of his last three starts.

That stretch includes Saturday's 9-1 win over the Chicago White Sox as he scattered five hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out nine to match a career high.

Duffy improved to 4-5 with a 2.83 earned run average in 14 games this year, including eight starts.

"The important thing he was doing in the first part of the game was he was getting ahead of the count and pitching off of that," Yost said of Duffy. "He just did a great job."

The 25-year-old is just 1-4 with a 3.89 ERA in seven previous meetings with Detroit, losing to the Tigers at home on May 3. He made a spot start on that day and struggled over four innings while on a pitch count, giving up one run but on two hits and four walks.

Detroit turns to Anibal Sanchez, who seeks a fourth straight winning decision this afternoon.

The 30-year-old righty recorded his first decision in four starts on Saturday in a 12-9 victory over Minnesota. Sanchez was charged with three runs on four hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.

He has not lost since April 21 and is 3-2 on the year with a 2.44 ERA.

Sanchez is just above .500 for his career against the Royals at 3-2 despite an eye-popping 0.99 ERA in the five starts. He has limited Kansas City to four runs and struck out 24 over 36 1/3 innings.

Read more Baseball Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category