Kansas City (34-58) at Detroit (45-49)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 22, 2004
  • TV: RTN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

If the Detroit Tigers are serious about contending in the AL Central, they’ll have to continue beating up on teams like the last-place Kansas City Royals.

The Tigers will shoot for a two-game sweep of the Royals when the teams wrap up their series at Comerica Park.

Detroit, which has already orchestrated an amazing turnaround after going an AL record-worst 43-119 last year, had lost six of its first 10 meetings with Kansas City before Wednesday’s 4-2 victory.

Ivan Rodriguez, Rondell White and Marcus Thames homered to back the solid pitching of Mike Maroth as Detroit ended a two-game skid and remained within six games of first-place Minnesota in the Central.

Rodriguez has shouldered the load for Detroit, much the way he did for the Florida Marlins en route to a World Series title last season. The All-Star catcher is batting .406 in his last 43 games, including a 2-for-3 performance on Wednesday.

“We pitched well enough to win, we got a couple of home runs and that’s it,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said after his club rebounded nicely from suffering a two-game sweep to the Twins.

Desi Relaford homered for the Royals, who have dropped three straight and own the worst record in the American League.

Kansas City, which took two of three from Detroit in its last visit to Comerica in June, has dropped eight of its last 10 road games.

The Tigers begin a big three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday.

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J. Gobble Col vs. G. Knotts NYM
9-8 Record 7-6
5.35 ERA 5.25
49 K 81
43 BB 58
1.35 WHIP 1.48