Jeremy Bonderman looks to lead the Tigers to a three-game sweep of the Royals when the AL Central rivals conclude their series Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.
Detroit (9-5) clinched its second series win of the season against Kansas City (3-11) with a 7-6 victory on Tuesday. Placido Polanco provided the tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, and added a solo home run and a triple.
The second baseman increased his average to .379 for the season.
“He’s the kind of guy you like working for you every day no matter what field you’re in,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He comes to work prepared every day.”
Bonderman (0-0, 2.57 ERA) tries to continue the strong play against one of his favorite opponents. The right-hander is 8-5 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 career games versus the Royals - his most wins against any opponent - and is 4-0 with a 3.35 ERA in his last six starts against them.
He allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings while striking out eight in a 3-2 win over Kansas City on April 8, although he didn’t earn a decision.
Bonderman has no decisions this season despite making three quality starts. He allowed one run and six hits over nine innings Friday, but didn’t factor into the 2-1, 10-inning defeat to Toronto. The Tigers have scored just four total runs for him in his three outings.
Gil Meche (1-1, 3.10) also hopes for more support when he takes the ball for Kansas City. The right-hander scattered seven hits over six scoreless innings Thursday, but failed to earn a decision in a 2-1, 10-inning loss to Baltimore.
Meche left the game with a mild right hamstring strain, but is ready for his start against Detroit. He is 5-4 with a 4.33 ERA in 12 career games versus the Tigers, to whom he suffered his only loss of this season.
Meche, who signed a five-year $55 million contract in December, gave up six runs and eight hits over seven innings of a 6-5 loss to Detroit on April 7. He will try to help the Royals snap a six-game losing streak, during which they have been outscored 42-21.
Center fielder David DeJesus has been a bright spot for Kansas City. He had four hits with a homer and three runs scored Tuesday, and is batting .537 with a home run, five doubles, three triples and 10 RBIs in his last nine games against the Tigers.
That success wasn’t on his mind after Tuesday’s loss, though.
“It was a tough way to lose. We stayed with them but couldn’t get it done,” said DeJesus, who is 9-for-26 with three doubles and a triple in his career versus Bonderman. “It’s seem we always score runs but they come back and overtake us.”