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News » Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-24

Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-24

Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-24
Zack Greinke was nearly flawless in his first career shutout. Victories for the Kansas City Royals haven't come easily since.

The Royals look for another stellar outing from their young ace as they try to get back on track Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against the Detroit Tigers.

Greinke (3-0, 0.00 ERA) extended his scoreless streak to 34 innings dating back to last season with a seven-hit shutout of the Texas Rangers on Saturday night. The 25-year-old right-hander, who has pitched 20 innings this season without allowing a run, struck out a season-best 10 - one shy of his career high - and walked none in the 2-0 victory.

"It kind of blew me away. I think it's almost impossible to do 34 scoreless innings in these days," Greinke said. "I would have taken the 20 as a career high."

Greinke is 8-4 with a 3.19 ERA in 17 career appearances versus the Tigers, 14 of them starts.

The Royals (8-7) have dropped three of four since Greinke's latest gem, including a 5-2 loss Thursday to close out their series in Cleveland.

Starter Gil Meche took a tenuous lead into the eighth inning, but second baseman Alberto Callaspo's error let the tying run score. Ron Mahay relieved Meche and promptly surrendered a three-run homer to Grady Sizemore.

Kansas City's bullpen has allowed six runs in the final two innings of each of its last three losses.

Detroit (8-7) allowed 10 runs for the second straight night Thursday in Los Angeles, but unlike the previous night's 12-10 win, the Tigers produced a season-low seven hits and committed a season-high four errors in a 10-5 loss.

Curtis Granderson, however, extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 2-for-4 performance, and Brandon Inge hit his team-leading sixth home run. While Inge is 8-for-27 with two home runs against Greinke, Granderson is hitting .190 (4-for-21) in his career versus the Royals starter.

Magglio Ordonez has struggled even more, going 4-for-27 (.148) against Greinke - his lowest batting average against any pitcher he's faced at least 25 times.

Having split eight contests following a three-game win streak, Detroit will try to bounce back behind rookie right-hander Rick Porcello (1-1, 3.75), who was flown ahead to Kansas City to avoid an early morning arrival.

After giving up four runs over five innings in his major league debut April 9, Porcello earned his first career victory Sunday, allowing one run over seven innings of an 8-2 win in Seattle.

"He looked like he belonged there. He still looks a little green at times but you expect that," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Obviously the stuff is there, so we'll take it from there and see what happens."

This weekend, Leyland expects the return of reliever Joel Zumaya, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 12 due to a stress fracture in his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Detroit has won five of its last six games in Kansas City, but the Royals claimed an 11-7 edge overall in last season's series.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 24, 2009

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