Beltran looks to add to the team’s early success as the Royals continue their series with the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.
Rookie Ken Harvey homered leading off the bottom of the 11th inning to give Kansas City a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Detroit on Friday night.
Beltran went 0-for-4 in his first game after being activated from the disabled list Friday night, but his presence alone improves the team, according to Royals skipper Tony Pena.
“It’s a big, big boost,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said before the game. “I’m very excited. He just brings a presence. It’s big.
“Now you have Carlos, (Mike) Sweeney and (Raul) Ibanez, with Joe (Randa) in front of them. People will have to think a little bit on how they’re going to pitch us.”
Sweeney is also excited about Beltran’s return.
“We’re 11-3 without one of the best players in major league baseball,” he said. “Having Carlos back will only help us.”
Last season, Beltran became the first Royals player in Royals history to turn in three seasons with at least 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored. He hit .273 with 29 home runs, 105 RBIs and 114 runs scored.
Detroit is coming off its 14th loss in 15 games this year.
Nate Cornejo allowed the first batter to reach base in each of the first six innings, and squandered an early 3-0 lead.
“We try not to think about (our record),” Cornejo said. “We know we’re struggling right now. We need to come together and keep going out there and battling every day. Sooner or later things will fall into place.”
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 11 GB, AL Central. Royals - 1st place, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Gary Knotts (0-1, 2.19 ERA). The right-hander has not pitched poorly in his first two starts of the season, but like every Detroit starter, has not had much offensive support. In his last outing, he allowed three runs—two earned—and seven hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking one batter in a 3-2 defeat at Chicago on April 13. Knotts will be making his first-ever start against the Royals.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeremy Affeldt (2-0, 4.96 ERA). The left-hander has won his last two starts, including a 12-4 win at Cleveland on April 14, his last outing. He allowed three runs—two earned—and five hits in five innings. Affeldt beat the Tigers at Comerica Park on April 9, allowing five runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 9-6 victory, which improved his career record against Detroit to 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Ramon Santiago, .263 avg; Eric Munson, 2 HRs and 6 RBIs; Bobby Higginson and Munson, 4 runs; Shane Halter and Higginson, 1 SB. Royals - Brent Mayne, .472 avg; Mayne, Ibanez and Sweeney, 3 HRs; Sweeney, 14 RBIs; Ibanez and Michael Tucker, 10 runs; Desi Relaford and Tucker, 3 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Royals, 3-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - OF Hiram Bocachica was designated for assigment, and the Tigers purchased the contract of OF Craig Monroe from Triple-A Toledo. Monroe hit .400 (18-for-45) with four doubles, a triple, two homers and six RBIs in 13 games with Toledo. Bocachica was hitting .045 (1-for-22) in six games with Detroit. … RHP Knotts has walked just three batters in his first 12 1-3 innings this season. … OF Higginson kept his average at .333 when batting leadoff. He went 2-for-6 on Friday and is hitting .107 (3-for-28) when batting elsewhere in the lineup. Royals - To make room for OF Beltran on the 25-man roster, the Royals returned OF Rontrez Johnson to the Texas Rangers. … DH Harvey had struck out 11 times in the past four games. … SS Desi Relaford has started at four different positions this season, third base, shortstop, second base and right field.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 0-7 on the road; Royals - 6-0 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - RHP Danny Patterson (elbow), 15-day DL. Royals - None.