Kansas City (58-87) at Detroit (78-67)

Clear Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 17, 2009
  • TV: FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Tigers wouldn’t mind building some momentum heading into a key weekend road series with their closest competitor in the AL Central. Doing so might not be easy with one of the majors’ top pitchers standing in their way.

Facing Kansas City ace Zack Greinke(notes), the first-place Tigers look for a second straight victory Thursday afternoon against the visiting Royals.

Adam Everett(notes) had two RBIs and Placido Polanco(notes) drove in the game-winner in the sixth inning as Detroit (78-67) rallied from a three-run deficit to win 4-3 on Wednesday to even this three-game series and snap a five-game losing streak to Kansas City.

“That’s just the way we’ve played games all year,” Everett said. “I don’t know how to explain it. They’ve been beating us up pretty good and to get a win, and win in that fashion, was big for us.”

Though the last-place Royals (58-87) have played well against the Tigers of late, Detroit leads 9-8 in the season series which concludes with this contest.

More importantly for the Tigers, they remain 4 1/2 games ahead of second-place Minnesota, which hosts Detroit in a three-game set starting Friday. The Tigers and Twins face each other seven more times.

Polanco is batting .349 with 10 RBIs in his last 16 games for the Tigers, who’ve won three of four after losing five in a row.

The veteran second baseman is hitting .300 with 12 RBIs against the Royals and .342 lifetime versus Greinke (13-8, 2.19 ERA), who has the lowest ERA in the majors and remains a Cy Young Award candidate despite pitching for a last-place team.

Greinke is 9-5 with a 2.74 ERA in 18 starts against Detroit and 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA in four this season. He allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss at Detroit on Aug. 14.

The right-hander gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of a 2-1, 12-inning victory at Cleveland on Friday. Greinke is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in his last four starts and has received 29 runs in his combined 15 starts of losses and outings he’s not received a decision.

“I try to pitch,” Greinke said of his win total preventing him from winning postseason awards. “Hopefully, it works out. I can’t focus on that.”

Detroit counters with Edwin Jackson(notes) (12-6, 3.22), who’s 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA in his last four starts.

Though he didn’t receive a decision in his last outing, Jackson looks for a better effort after giving up five runs in seven innings of an 8-6 loss to Toronto on Saturday.

The right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA in five starts against Kansas City and 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA versus the Royals this season.

Royals outfielder David DeJesus(notes) is 4 for 11 with two doubles against Jackson and batting .338 during a 16-game hitting streak.

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Starting Pitchers

Z. Greinke LAD vs. E. Jackson ChC
16-8 Record 13-9
2.16 ERA 3.62
242 K 161
51 BB 70
1.07 WHIP 1.26

Scoreboard

Thursday, Sep 17