Detroit Tigers (51-37) at Kansas City Royals (47-44), 8:10 p.m. (ET)


The Sports Network

( - The Kansas City Royals may actually be contending in the American League Central if they could just beat the Detroit Tigers at home.

Kansas City looks to slice into the Tigers' divisional lead and beat them for the first time in five games at Kauffman Stadium this season on Friday when the rivals resume their four-game series.

The Royals fell to 0-4 at home versus the Tigers on Thursday, as Torii Hunter had three hits, including a homer, and knocked in three runs to power Detroit to a 16-4 rout.

Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez also drove in three runs for the Tigers, who improved to 15-5 in their last 20 games and increased their lead over the Royals to 5 1/2 games for first place in the AL Central.

They plated a season-high 16 runs just two days after scoring 14 in a win over the Dodgers on Tuesday, when they had a season-best 20 hits.

Drew Smyly (5-8) pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk.

"We just wanted to come in here and finish (the first half of the season) on a really good note," said Smyly. "We have three more games but it's a good way to start the series off."

Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer homered for the Royals.

Jeremy Guthrie (5-8) lasted just four-plus innings for Kansas City. The right- hander was charged with eight runs on eight hits and three walks after giving up six runs and 11 hits in four innings against Cleveland on Saturday.

The Royals bullpen gave up 11 hits and eight runs.

"We didn't pitch good tonight. That's the bottom line," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "And that's why they scored a bunch of runs."

Getting the call for the Tigers on Friday will be righty Anibal Sanchez, who is 5-3 with a 3.18 ERA. Sanchez lost to Tampa on Saturday, as the Rays battered him for seven runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Sanchez also walked four batters in the loss.

"I had a really good game plan, and I got a really good four innings," Sanchez said after the game. "I think the homer and the walk, I think everything changed right there, and my ball started being up in the strike zone."

Sanchez beat KC the last time he faced them and is 4-2 in six starts against them with a 1.04 ERA.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Danny Duffy, who is 5-8 with a 2.86 ERA. Duffy lost for the third time in four starts on Sunday in Cleveland, as he gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings.

Duffy has struggled against the Tigers in eight starts, going a mere 1-5 with a 3.68 ERA.

Detroit is 7-3 versus Kansas City on the year.

Read more Baseball Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Expanded rosters give managers more flexibility

    The Cleveland Indians have played their way back into the thick of the playoff race, but the grind is only beginning.

  • Recap: Chicago WSox vs. Detroit

    Jose Quintana tossed seven strong innings and received plenty of early offensive support in the Chicago White Sox' 6-2 triumph over the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

  • Heavy rain forces suspension of Royals-Indians game

    /KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The wind punished the flags hanging high above the outfield walls. A hail of plastic bags and paper napkins whipped through the sky. During a rain delay that postponed what would have been a crushing Kansas City Royals loss, a sudden storm dispersed the remnants of a capacity crowd and provided imagery that was cruel but fitting.

Join the

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