Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tigers, Royals set to renew division rivalry in KC

Two American League Central foes renew their rivalry on Tuesday night, as the Tigers travel to Kansas City to face the defending World Series champions for the first time this season.
The Tigers are coming off their first series defeat of the season in Houston, while the Royals have won four of their last six games. Both teams are already near the top of the division, and 12 of Detroit's next 16 games are against AL Central opponents.
The Royals will feature hard-throwing right Yordano Ventura on the mound, and he's still looking for his first win in 2016. His swing-and-miss pitches have been there, with six strikeouts in each of his two starts, but nine combined walks indicate Ventura will be looking to corral his blazing fastball against Detroit.
Shane Greene gets the honors for Detroit, and he was solid in a 7-3 win at Pittsburgh last week. The right-hander allowed just two runs -- none after the first inning -- and struck out seven while allowing only three hits in six effective frames. Greene is 0-1 in two career starts against Kansas City, but he's given up just one run in 13 innings of work during those outings.
Despite finishing 21 games ahead of the Tigers in the standings last season, Kansas City squeaked out the victory in the season series, 10 games to nine.
Things to know about this game
• The Tigers have already been road warriors this season, compiling a 5-2 record away from home.
• Both teams could get some key players back during the series. Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson (right oblique strain) is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha and could join the team this week. The Tigers have outfielder Cameron Maybin (left wrist fracture) and reliever Blaine Hardy (left shoulder impingement) on rehab stints of their own, with both expected to return in the near future.
• Ventura is 4-0 in six career appearances (five starts) against Detroit, including a career-high-tying 11 strikeouts in his last outing vs. the Tigers, a 12-1 home win on Sept. 2, 2015.

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