Kansas City (48-87) at Detroit (62-72)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI, US
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Mon Sep 6, 2004
  • TV: RTN, WKBD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kansas City is hoping Denny Bautista can pitch up to his rich bloodlines when he makes his Royals debut in the opener of a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

Bautista, the 23-year-old cousin of three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez, was called up from Double-A Wichita on Sunday. Kansas City will use a six-man rotation for the rest of the season, hoping to reduce the wear on its young arms.

Bautista surrendered eight runs over two innings in two appearances for Baltimore this season before being acquired for veteran reliever Jason Grimsley on June 21. The hard-throwing rookie right-hander is looking forward to his first outing for Kansas City.

“I’m going to pitch tomorrow but I don’t feel nervous. I don’t know why but I feel all right. I’m going to be OK,” Bautista said.

At 6-foot-6 and 187 pounds, Bautista casts a lean, imposing shadow on the mound, especially since he has a fastball clocked at 97 mph. But it’s the changeup he learned from his older cousin that has the Royals enthused about his ability to be an effective big league pitcher.

“He’s about the best of the big league pitchers so that’s why he’s a very good teacher for me,” Bautista said of Martinez.

The Royals are also hoping Bautista adds some pounds to his rail-thin frame.

“He’s been on a nutrition program and he’s already gained about 10 pounds since joining the organization,” Royals manager Tony Pena said.

One day after being officially eliminated from contention for the AL Central crown, the Royals beat up on the division-leading Twins 12-3 on Sunday. Jimmy Gobble pitched a complete game and Joe Randa went 4-for-5 with a homer as Kansas City averted a three-game sweep.

After winning 4-2 on Friday, the Tigers had the final two games of their weekend series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays postponed due to the arrival of Hurricane Frances.

“The rest feels good, to be honest with you,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.

The Tigers practiced at Comerica Park on Sunday.

“This is two days off and it really should help,” third baseman Brandon Inge said. “We got to relax and regain our composure after what’s been kind of a rough stretch. It’s a good time to regroup, and even though we’re not in the running for the playoffs, it’s more a pride thing, that we want to finish as high as we can.”

Before beating Tampa Bay, the Tigers had lost six of seven.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Bautista SEA vs. W. Ledezma MIN
0-4 Record 4-3
8.49 ERA 4.39
19 K 29
13 BB 18
1.92 WHIP 1.37