MLB Baseball
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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Kansas City0 1 3 0 0 0 9 0 3 16221
Detroit0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 270
  W: I. Kennedy (4-6)   L: A. Sanchez (2-1)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, July 26, 2017
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 29,073

Royals try to rolling against Tigers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers

  1. After splitting four games with the Royals at Kansas City last week, the Tigers now hold a 6-4 advantage in the 2017 season series. The Royals erupted for season highs in hits (19) and runs (16) in the finale versus Detroit last Thursday.
  2. The Royals' 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Sunday represented Kansas City's seventh walk-off win this season, tying for the most in the majors (six other teams). It was the Royals' 12th last at-bat victory, tying for the second most in the American League.
  3. By taking two of three games at Minnesota this weekend, the Tigers are 6-4 since the All-Star break and are 2-0-1 over the three series. Detroit has hit .313 as a team since the break, the highest mark in the American League.
  4. Jason Hammel owns a 6.98 career ERA against the Tigers, which is the third highest among active pitchers who've made at least eight starts versus Detroit (ERA includes statistics in relief appearances).
  5. Justin Verlander is 23-10 in his career versus the Royals. The 23 victories are Verlander's most against any opponent, and the fifth most by any pitcher ever against the Royals. With a win on Monday, Verlander would match Nolan Ryan (24-15) for the fourth most ever versus Kansas City.
  6. Alex Presley's batting average is up to .344 after collecting three hits in each of his last two games. The outburst lengthened Presley's hitting streak to 10 games, two shy of his career long (12 games in April 2012).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/24/2017 thru 7/26/2017

DETROIT -- Ian Kennedy didn't get a lot of run support early in the season. That has changed dramatically in the past two months.

The Kansas City Royals won seven of the past eight games started by the veteran right-hander. They averaged 5.9 runs during that stretch.

The Royals' offense provided a comfort level for all of the team's starters in the past week, as Kansas City carries a seven-game winning streak into its Wednesday game at Detroit. Kennedy will start against the Tigers in the finale of the three-game series.

"We've been getting a lot of those big hits lately, those timely hits," Kennedy said. "Whether we're scoring a lot of runs or not, we're manufacturing runs. We're playing the type of baseball you need to win these games."

Kennedy (3-6, 4.61 ERA) lost his first six decisions this season, in part because the offense got off to a slow start. The Royals produced only seven runs in his first five outings.

He hasn't lost a decision since June 5. Kennedy gave up three or fewer earned runs in six consecutive starts before he allowed six runs (five earned) to the Chicago White Sox in four innings on Friday. Half of those runs came on Yoan Moncada's bases-loaded triple.

"I wasn't locating," Kennedy said. "That's usually how it is when you don't throw well and you get hit. I was one pitch away from having a good start. You're always one pitch away from having a bad start, and that's what happened."

Kennedy notched one of his wins last month at Comerica Park. He limited the Tigers to two runs and five hits in seven innings on June 28.

"I think I was just throwing strikes," said Kennedy, who is 2-4 with a 4.34 ERA in eight career starts against Detroit. "With this type of offense, you've got to stay ahead of guys and make good pitches because they have a lot of power. They start off with (Ian) Kinsler up there, and all those guys throughout the lineup can hit."

Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 5.95 ERA) will be Kennedy's mound opponent. Sanchez has revived his career after a stint in the minors. Detroit has won all four games started by Sanchez this month.

In his last outing, Sanchez collected his second victory while holding the Minnesota Twins to three runs in 5 2/3 innings on Friday.

"I feel good right now," Sanchez said. "In my last bullpen (session), I had better command, better arm speed. That's what I'm looking for. I've prepared really well for (Wednesday). Hopefully, I'll have a good game."

Sanchez had the ability to overpower batters earlier in his Tigers career. He struck out 202 batters in 182 innings in 2013, including a career-high 17-strikeout game against the Atlanta Braves.

He now relies more on guile and deception, with pitch speed being a key factor. He even throws what he calls his butterfly pitch at a super-slow rate.

"Every pitcher is totally different," he said. "(Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer) throw 97 or 98 (mph). I can throw 92, but I control my change at 65. That separation allows me to throw the fastball at 92, but it looks like 97 or 98 when I throw that slow (changeup)."

Sanchez hasn't faced Kansas City this season, but he is very familiar with the lineup. He has made 15 career appearances against the Royals, including 13 starts, and has a 6-4 record and a 2.66 ERA in those outings.

Updated July 26, 2017

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