Kansas City (75-72) at Detroit (38-109)

Light Rain Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 14, 2003
  • TV: RTN, FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Rookie Jimmy Gobble will have a tough act to follow as the Kansas City Royals resume a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Gobble takes the mound just one day after Jamey Wright threw a seven-hit shutout to lead the Royals to a much-needed 7-0 victory over the hapless Tigers on Saturday.

The Royals, who won for just the fifth time in 15 games, remained 3 1/2 games behind AL Central co-leaders Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox, both of whom won Saturday.

Gobble was tagged with a 7-1 home loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, giving up six runs—one earned—and four hits over six innings. The 22-year-old left-hander was cruising until he hit a batter to set off a five-run, sixth-inning rally.

“It’s something I have to learn from,” Gobble said. “This one is really a tough one to stomach, just for the simple fact that we were in this game the whole time. And then I go out and do something like that. It really disappoints me a lot.”

After dropping the opener 3-0 on Friday, the Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning Saturday. Carlos Beltran homered and drove in three runs, and Mike Sweeney added two RBIs.

Beltran was 3-for-23 (.130) with two RBIs in his previous six games, but it was Sweeney’s first RBI in eight contests.

The Tigers, who lost for the seventh time in eight games, tied a franchise record with their 109th defeat. They need to win five of their final 15 games to avoid tying the 1962 New York Mets for the most losses in a season (120) since 1900.

STANDINGS: Royals - 3rd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL Central. Tigers - 5th place, 40 1/2 GB, AL Central.

ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Gobble (3-4, 4.89 ERA). After winning his first two major league starts while posting an 0.73 ERA, Gobble is 1-4 with an 8.62 ERA in his last five outings. He has never faced the Tigers.

TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Nate Robertson (1-0, 4.15 ERA). Robertson has allowed three runs or fewer in four of his five starts this season. The rookie left-hander didn’t get the decision in Detroit’s 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday, giving up two runs and five hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out five. He is facing Kansas City for the first time.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Beltran, .303 avg., 23 HRs, 93 RBIs, 88 runs and 35 SBs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .287 avg., 28 HRs, 75 RBIs and 70 runs; Alex Sanchez, 37 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Royals, 11-3.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - 1B Ken Harvey is batting .387 (12-for-31) with a homer and five RBIs during a career-high eight-game hitting streak. … LF Raul Ibanez has seven steals this season, as many as he had in the previous three years combined. … CF Beltran’s steal Saturday was his 35th of the season, tying his career best, set last year. Tigers - The Tigers have been shut out a major league-high 16 times this season. … CF Alex Sanchez had two steals Saturday and has been successful on 20 of his last 24 attempts. … RF Bobby Higginson hasn’t homered since Aug. 29 against the White Sox.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 37-37 on the road; Tigers - 20-52 at home.

INJURIES: Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Lima (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Appier (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 60-day DL. Tigers - 3B Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; 3B Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Gobble Col vs. N. Robertson Det
4-5 Record 1-2
4.61 ERA 5.44
31 K 33
15 BB 23
1.35 WHIP 1.75