MLB Game Preview - Tigers v Royals

 
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Kansas City0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 170
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  W: E. Skoglund (1-0)   L: J. Verlander (4-4)   S: K. Herrera (12)
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, May 30, 2017
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 21,864

Royals catch break facing Verlander in K.C.

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals

  1. These teams are meeting for the first time in 2017, after the Tigers went 12-7 in the series last year. Kansas City is just 6-15 against AL Central opponents so far this year, the worst record by any team versus its own division.
  2. Kansas City gave up a season-high 18 hits in yesterday's 10-1 loss at Cleveland. It was the Royals' MLB-high 15th game this season scoring one or fewer runs.
  3. Detroit is 2-6 through the first eight games of its season-long 11-game road trip. The Tigers are 11-16 on the road for the season, allowing 5.29 runs per game (fourth most in MLB).
  4. Among American League players with at least 100 plate appearances this season, Alex Avila ranks third in batting average (.337), second in on-base percentage (.459), and third in OPS (1.077).
  5. Eric Hosmer's .375 batting average this month is second best in the majors (Marwin Gonzalez, Hou - .381; minimum 50 PA). Hosmer was hitting just .225 this season entering May.
  6. After going 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA with the Cubs in 2016, Jason Hammel is 1-6 with a 5.98 ERA in nine starts this year. He is 2-2 with an 8.53 ERA (24/25.1) in six career starts versus the Tigers.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/29/2017 thru 5/31/2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals have Tigers ace Justin Verlander right where they want him -- not pitching in Detroit.

Verlander will start the middle game of a three-game series Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

In four starts this season in Detroit, Verlander is 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA. He has held opponents to a .162 batting average with one home run, six extra-base hits with no stolen bases at Comerica Park.

On the road, Verlander is 2-3 with a 7.64 ERA in six starts. Opposing hitters are batting .299 off him in away games with eight home runs and eight doubles. They have also swiped six bases.

"I mean, you can call it an anomaly," Verlander said. "With this many starts, I would say so. It's not enough data. You're talking 10 starts -- six on the road, four at home. That's not enough. And two really bad ones."

He allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks in his most recent start, a no-decision at Houston on Thursday.

"You still have to make your pitches," Verlander said. "I wasn't discouraged. I was discouraged that we lost, but it wasn't like one of those you go back and figure it out things. I think there are a lot of things that are going on behind the scenes that I can't talk about, so I'm not talking about it."

Verlander said his confidence level remains high.

"I feel great," he said. "Everything feels good. The ball's coming out well. Like I said last time, the last couple, consistency-wise, were better than what we talked about before, so stay the course."

Verlander will be facing the Royals for the first time this year, but for the 42nd time of his career. He is 22-9 with a 3.23 ERA against Kansas City. He went 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA last season versus the Royals.

He is 13-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 22 career starts at Kansas City.

"You never know what's going to happen any time you take the mound, but I've enjoyed pitching here," Verlander said. "I like the way the mound sets up. Sometimes some ballparks just look better than others. These guys have a good team, a good lineup, so you never take anything for granted. You just go out there and make your pitches until the manager says you're done."

Royals catcher Salvador Perez does not mind facing Verlander. He is 23-for-52 (.442) with two home runs and 14 RBIs against the right-hander. Mike Moustakas is 10-for-57 (.175( off Verlander with one home run, while Alex Gordon is 18-for-86 (.209) with three home runs.

While most of the Royals' veterans have faced Verlander several times, few of the Tigers have seen Eric Skoglund, the Royals starter, a 6-foot-7 left-hander. And if they have faced him, it was in the minors, for this will be his major league debut.

Skoglund was 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Omaha. With starters Danny Duffy and Nathan Karns on the disabled list, the Royals are looking for rotation candidates.

"We've experienced injuries before, and we're used to it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's part of the game. You just make adjustments and move on.

"It gives us an opportunity to see some of these younger guys with good arms and evaluate where they are. It gives them an opportunity to come up and show us what they've got."

Yost has yet to see Skoglund pitch. The 24-year-old Florida native was a non-roster invitee to spring training but was injured in March and did not appear in an exhibition game.

"He threw early on the side, but you can't make determinations off side sessions," Yost said. "Then he got hurt. He's been throwing the ball pretty good."

Updated May 30, 2017

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