Detroit (16-24) at Kansas City (18-21)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 2:10 pm EDT Thu May 15, 2008
  • TV: FSKC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kenny Rogers and the Detroit Tigers were dominant in Kansas City entering this season, but the Royals appear intent on making sure 2008 turns out differently.

The Royals, trying to avoid a sixth straight defeat in games Rogers has started, look to sweep the Tigers at home for the first time since 2005 as the teams conclude a three-game set Thursday.

Kansas City (18-21) lost 15 of 18 home games against Detroit (16-24) from 2006-07, but has outscored the Tigers 5-2 in the first two games of this series at Kauffman Stadium.

“We have had all the combinations that lead to losing instead of winning,” said Detroit manager Jim Leyland said, whose team has lost nine of 11. “Things aren’t going against us. We’re not making good things happen.”

The Royals have a chance to sweep a series against the Tigers at home for the first time since a four-game set from Sept. 19-21, 2005.

Rogers (3-3, 5.82 ERA) has played a small part in Detroit’s past success at Kansas City. He has a 2.88 ERA in his last five road starts against the Royals en route to winning his last four decisions there, the first two victories coming with Texas before joining the Tigers in 2006.

But Rogers’ last four outings against Kansas City have all been in Detroit, and he has gone 0-4 with a 5.31 ERA in that span.

Rogers faced Kansas City at home in his first start of the season, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings as Detroit lost 4-0 on April 2. He is 20-17 with a 3.90 ERA in 35 starts and 21 relief appearances against the Royals.

The veteran left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his last three starts overall. Rogers gave up two runs and nine hits through six innings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Friday, picking off his major league-record 92nd runner in that game.

Rogers will be facing a Kansas City team that has won three straight, matching its longest winning streak of the season.

“Some real good things are happening right now,” Royals manager Trey Hillman told the team’s official Web site. “Not only with the pitching staff, but the position players have turned it up a lot in the last couple days.”

Kansas City, though, has scored just nine runs during its winning streak.

Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek went 0-for-3 Wednesday after hitting .563 (9-for-16) in his previous four games. He is 12-for-20 (.600) with two home runs and five doubles against Rogers.

Kansas City hopes Grudzielanek - its leading hitter - can help spark the lineup. The Royals have been carried by their pitching during the streak, allowing two runs total.

Gil Meche (2-5, 6.31) takes the mound for Kansas City, looking to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season. He gave up five runs and six hits in five innings as Kansas City lost 7-4 to Baltimore on Friday night.

Meche dropped to 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA and a .330 opponents batting average in four starts at Kauffman Stadium this season.

Meche faced Detroit in Kansas City’s season opener, surrendering three runs and eight hits in six innings as the Royals won 5-4 in 11 innings. The right-hander is 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 15 starts against the Tigers.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Rogers Det vs. G. Meche KC
9-13 Record 14-11
5.70 ERA 3.98
82 K 183
71 BB 73
1.63 WHIP 1.32


Thursday, May 15