Tigers look to avoid four-game sweep Thursday afternoon

Published On: Jun 19 2014 10:15:11 AM EDT
DETROIT -

The Kansas City Royals are enjoying their longest winning streak in 20 years and look to stretch it to 11 contests when they conclude their four-game series against the host Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon. Kansas City won a 2-1 squeaker on Wednesday after rolling up 11 runs in each of the first two games of the set to open up a 1 1/2-game lead over the Tigers in the American League Central. Kansas City’s winning streak is its longest since stringing together 14 straight victories in 1994.

Detroit has experienced a sharp decline since opening with a 27-12 mark under first-year manager Brad Ausmus, losing 20 of its last 29 games. Ausmus said after Wednesday’s loss that it isn’t time to panic or make major changes. “If you’re managing a struggling team and you do something radical, I can tell you from being a player in a clubhouse, you kind of lose some of the players,” Ausmus told reporters. “They’re like, ‘Oh, he’s lost his mind.’ You’ve got to be careful about doing something radical.”

TV: 1:08 p.m. ET, MLBN, FSN (Kansas City, Detroit)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Danny Duffy (4-5, 2.83 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.44)

Duffy is in a groove as he hasn’t allowed a run in two of his last three outings. He struck out a season-high nine and gave up five hits over seven scoreless innings of a triumph over the Chicago White Sox in his last turn. Duffy, who is 1-4 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career starts against Detroit, lost to the Tigers on May 3 as he gave up one run and two hits in four innings.

Sanchez has won three consecutive decisions, last losing on April 21. He defeated Minnesota in his last outing when he gave up three runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Sanchez is 3-2 with a 0.99 ERA in five career starts against Kansas City.

WALK-OFFS 

1. The winning streak marks only the fifth time the Royals have posted as many as 10 straight victories in their history.

2. Tigers RF Torii Hunter (hamstring) is expected to miss his third straight game.

3. Kansas City 2B Omar Infante is 5-for-12 with two homers and eight RBIs in the series against his former club but is just 3-for-18 against Sanchez.

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