Kansas City (17-30) at Detroit (22-27)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 10° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Mon May 31, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Last week, the Kansas City Royals got a warning from their general manager. And so far, it’s making a difference.

Told last week that general manager Allard Baird might begin trading players if they did not start winning, the Royals are riding consecutive series victories as they open a four-game set with the Detroit Tigers.

Since snapping a four-game losing streak, the Royals have won four of six, taking series from the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins.

“Any time you win four out of six, it is a good homestand,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “I’ll never be satisfied. I am just happy to see our ballclub playing better baseball right now.”

The Royals took the first two games of their set with the Twins before falling 8-3 on Sunday.

Jimmie Gobble, a 22-year-old rookie left-hander, lost for the third time in four decisions, giving up six runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Matt Stairs hit an RBI double in the fourth for the Royals, and Benito Santiago homered leading off the fifth.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are trying to avoid their second four-game losing streak of the season. Detroit has dropped six of seven, including getting swept by the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend.

In Sunday’s 7-3 loss, Detroit closer Ugueth Urbina squandered a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, allowing six of the seven batters he faced to reach base.

It was Urbina’s first blown save in 13 chances since Aug. 31 for the Florida Marlins, and the first runs he allowed all season at Comerica Park. Park.

“He’s been awfully good for us,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “I’m not sure what happened, but sometimes there’s just no explanation for it.”

Ivan Rodriguez had a pair of run-scoring singles in the loss.

“I’m not worried,” Bobby Higginson said after the loss. “This doesn’t feel like a rut—that’s just a very good team over there.”

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Starting Pitchers

D. May Cin vs. G. Knotts NYM
9-19 Record 7-6
5.61 ERA 5.25
120 K 81
55 BB 58
1.55 WHIP 1.48