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News » Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-25

Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-25

Tigers-Royals Preview 2009-04-25
Take away the first inning, and Kansas City's Kyle Davies had a decent outing in his last start. The Royals right-hander will look for a more complete effort Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium against the Detroit Tigers.

The AL Central-leading Royals (9-7) received just that in Friday's 6-1 series-opening win Detroit as Zack Greinke had 10 strikeouts in his second straight complete game. His scoreless streak was snapped at 38 innings, but he became the first Kansas City pitching to toss consecutive shutouts since Jamey Wright accomplished the feat on Sept. 6 and 13, 2003.

"Zack looked unhittable," said third baseman Mark Teahen, who hit a two-run first-inning home run. "It's fun to watch Zack on the mound."

Kansas City's staff ERA is 1.44 in its nine wins, compared with 5.49 in seven losses.

"When Greinke pitches, the Royals are as good as any team in baseball," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

Alberto Callaspo homered Friday for Kansas City, finally going deep for the first time in his 442nd major league at-bat. The 5-foot-9 second baseman is batting .440 (11-for-25) during a seven-game hitting streak.

Davies (1-0, 2.89 ERA) takes the mound for the middle contest of this three-game set. On Sunday at Texas, Davies walked four batters and surrendered two runs in a 37-pitch first inning, but settled down to last through the sixth. He finished with three runs and three hits allowed in six innings, not factoring in the decision in the 6-5 defeat.

"I tried pounding the fastball but I just couldn't locate it," Davies said after striking out eight for the second time in three starts. "I should have gone to the breaking ball."

Davies lost all three of his starts against the Tigers in 2008, including a 6-3 loss last Aug. 29, when he gave up six runs - two earned - and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. Zach Miner (1-1, 8.10) picked up the victory with six solid innings in that game, and will get the ball again for Detroit on Saturday.

Kansas City is batting just .248 this season, but could get a boost Saturday with the expected return of outfielder Jose Guillen, who's been on the disabled list with a partially torn right hip flexor tendon and has not played since April 9.

"He hasn't had any setbacks," Royals manager Trey Hillman told the team's official Web site.

Kansas City closer Joakim Soria, though, will miss the remainder of this series with a sore right shoulder. "There is a problem, but it's not a DL situation," Hillman said. "He doesn't have any structural damage, but he does have a tight right shoulder on the back side, the posterior side. We're looking at a minimum of three to five days."

Detroit (8-8), meanwhile, will regain the services of reliever Joel Zumaya, who will be activated Saturday after being sidelined all season with a sore right shoulder.

Miner makes his first start since April 13, when he gave up eight runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 10-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander pitched one inning of scoreless relief in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Gerald Laird had two of the three hits Detroit mustered against Greinke in the series opener. Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-3, making him 2-for-14 over the last four games. His season average has dropped 79 points in that span, though it remains a lofty .410.

The Tigers are seeking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 25, 2009

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