Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers (20-24) at Kansas City Royals (14-34)


TIGERS LOSE SERIES FINALE TO WASHINGTON: The Tigers fell behind early and were unable to complete the comeback, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Nationals on Sunday. Nick Maton had a pair of hits, including a solo homer, while Matt Vierling went 2×4. Zach McKinstry and Spencer Torkelson each had a hit and a RBI. Joey Wentz started for Detroit and took the loss, allowing six runs on 10 hits with one strikeout in 2.0 innings. The Tigers bullpen combined for 6.0 shutout frames, led by Mason Englert, who threw 2.2 scoreless innings.

ZACH ATTACK: Zach McKinstry reached base three times in yesterday’s game at Washington, going 1×3 with a RBI and two walks. McKinstry has performed well when hitting in the lead off spot for the Tigers this season. When batting first, McKinstry is hitting .302/.415/.396 with two doubles, a homer and four RBI.

FOLEY PUTTING UP ZEROS: Jason Foley worked a scoreless inning with two hits allowed yesterday against the Nationals. Foley has not allowed a run in 10 of his last 11 appearances, posting a 0.82 ERA (11.0IP/1ER) with nine hits allowed, one walk and six strikeouts. For the season, Foley has pitched in 20 games, compiling a 1-1 record with two saves, a 1.42 ERA (19.0IP/3ER) and 14 strikeouts.

RILEY AGAINST THE ROYALS: Riley Greene hit safely in all 15 games he played against Kansas City last season, hitting .306/.377/.435 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and four RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Greene’s 15-game hitting streak against the Royals is the fourth-longest current hitting streak vs. one team among active players, trailing only Freddie Freeman (20-game hitting streak vs. Boston), Starling Marte (18-game hitting streak vs. Texas) and Josh Bell (17-game hitting streak vs. New
York (NL)).

TIGERS AND ROYALS: The Tigers and Royals begin their 13-game season series tonight. Detroit went 10-9 against Kansas City last season with the two teams splitting 10 meetings at Kauffman Stadium. The Tigers have won the season series over the Royals just twice since 2015.

AGAINST THE AL CENTRAL: The Tigers continue divisional play tonight against the Royals. Detroit has played six games against AL Central opponents this season, winning four-of-six contests against Cleveland. The Tigers have finished below .500 against AL Central foes in each of the last five 162-game seasons, including a 34-42 record last season.

ON THE ROAD: The Tigers are 1-2 on their six-game road trip, which includes three games at Washington (1-2) and three games at Kansas City (May 22-24). Detroit has a 10-14 record away from Comerica Park this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .220/.290/.341 on the road, while the pitching staff has a 4.54 ERA (208.0IP/105ER).


  • RHP Beau Brieske (right upper arm discomfort, 60-day IL on March 30, retroactive to March 27)
  • OF Kerry Carpenter (right shoulder sprain, 10-day IL on April 29, retroactive to April 28)
  • RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 60-day IL on April 12)
  • OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
  • RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
  • RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
  • LHP Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain, 60-day IL on March 14)
  • RHP Spencer Turnbull (neck discomfort, 15-day IL on May 12, retroactive to May 7)
  • RHP Trey Wingenter (right biceps tendinitis, 15-day IL on April 22, retroactive to April 19)


21 Michael Lorenzen • 2-2, 3.44 ERA (34.0IP/13ER)

  • Lorenzen will make his seventh start of the season tonight in the series opener at Kansas City.
  • Earned his second win of the season in his last start on Tuesday vs. Pittsburgh, throwing 6.0 scoreless innings with five hits allowed, two walks and seven strikeouts…has thrown at least 6.0 innings and allowed one run-or-less in each of his last three starts, the first time in his career he has done so.
  • Has made just one appearance in his career against the Royals, pitching in relief on May 20, 2015 at Kauffman Stadium and throwing a scoreless inning with one hit.
  • Started 18 games with the Angels in 2022 and went 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA (97.2IP/46ER) and 85 strikeouts…finished the season strong, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.36 ERA (26.2IP/7ER) and 30 strikeouts over five starts from September 9-October 4.


SWEPT ON THE SOUTH SIDE: The Royals were swept by the White Sox in yesterday’s 5-2 loss in Chicago to finish the 9-game trip with a 2-7 record…opener Carlos Hernández retired all six batters he faced with 3 strikeouts, and the newly-engaged Michael Massey hit a 2-run HR in the 2nd inning to give the Royals an early lead…Luis Robert Jr. halved the gap with a solo HR off Max Castillo in the 3rd, and No. 9 hitter Romy González gave the White Sox a lead with a 2-run triple in the 5th…that was all the offense Chicago needed, as the Royals were held to 4 hits on the day, including only 1 hit after the 3rd inning, and were held to 3 runs for the series.

ROSTER MOVE: The Royals announced today that infielder Nicky Lopez has been returned from his rehab assignment and reinstated from the 10-day Injured List…Lopez was placed on the IL on May 2 after undergoing an appendectomy…in 3 rehab games with Triple-A Omaha, he went 3-for-10 with a double, an RBI and 3 walks.

In a corresponding move, Hunter Dozier was designated for assignment…Dozier, 31, was the Royals 1stround pick in the 2013 Draft, debuted in 2016 and has spent his entire career in the Royals organization.

TRIP TRACKER: The Royals went 2-7 on their 9-game road trip and were swept in Milwaukee and Chicago, but won 2 of 3 games in San Diego…they were outscored on the trip 41-22 (-19) and were held to 2 runs or fewer in 5 of the 9 games, including 2 shutouts…following back-to-back wins in San Diego last week, the Royals were swept by the White Sox, a series in which they combined for 3 runs on 12 hits, and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position…in fact, the Royals are 0-for-their-last-15 in scoring situations with 8 strikeouts since their last such hit, a Maikel Garcia RBI double off Yu Darvish in the 6th inning of last Wednesday’s win in San Diego.

Despite going 2-7 on the trip, the Royals held a lead in 6 of the 9 games but suffered 4 blown losses.

LEADS LOST: The Royals have held a lead in 15 of their 19 games in the month of May, but they’re only 7-12 this month with 8 blown lead losses…they led in each of their last 2 games in Chicago but lost them both…the only games this month in which they haven’t held a lead were May 5 vs. Baltimore, when they trailed 9-2, cut the deficit to 9-8, but lost 12-8; May 12 at Milwaukee, a 5-1 loss; a week ago tonight in San Diego, a 4-0 loss; and Friday night in Chicago, where they were blanked in a 2-0 loss…for the season, the Royals 16 blown lead losses are tied for the 2nd most among all 30 Major League teams, 1 shy of Oakland’s 17 blown lead losses.

HOME: The Royals begin a 6-game homestand tonight with the 1st of 3 games vs. the Detroit Tigers, before hosting the Washington Nationals for 3 games this weekend for the first time since 2016…the Royals will play 9 of their next 11 games at home, with the only exceptions being a 2-game set in St. Louis which starts a week from today…that will continue a run of four consecutive series vs. National League opponents, including a 3-game stay vs. the Rockies next weekend and 3 games in Miami as part of a 6-game trip to begin the first week of June.

The Royals are 6-17 at Kauffman Stadium this season, but have won 4 of their last 5 after starting 2-16.

BULLPEN BITS: The Royals deployed another bullpen day in yesterday’s 5-2 loss in Chicago, and it was off to a promising start after opener Carlos Hernández retired the first six batters…Max Castillo took over in the 3rd with a 2-0 lead, but was charged with 5 runs on 8 hits over 4.2 innings…those 5 runs marked the most the Royals bullpen has allowed in a game over the last 15 games, a stretch in which Royals relievers rank 3rd in the American League with a .223 opponents’ average (48-for-215) and 4th with a 2.97 ERA (20 ER in 60.2 IP).

For the season, Royals relievers lead MLB with 216 strikeouts and rank 2nd with 10.6 K/9, both of which mark big improvements over last year, when they ranked 25th with 552 strikeouts and 21st with an 8.5 K/9.

Josh Staumont turned back the clock on Saturday with a dominant 9th inning, in which he needed only 12 pitches to retire Luis Robert Jr., Yoán Moncada and Andrew Vaughn, including 2 strikeouts…since being recalled to make his season debut on April 14, 11 of Staumont’s 14 outings have been scoreless and he’s held opponents to a .184 average (9-for-49) with just 1 extra-base hit and 19 strikeouts (12.2 K/9).

Taylor Clarke retired his only batter in the 7th yesterday to strand a pair, extending his scoreless streak to 7.2 innings over 7 outings, during which he’s held opponents to a .192 average (5-for-26) with 11 strikeouts.

Scott Barlow has retired 20 of his last 21 batters, and the only exception during that stretch was a single by Oakland’s JJ Bleday on May 7…he’s recorded 10.2 scoreless innings over his last 10 outings since April 22, a stretch in which he has 5 saves, a .111 opponents’ average (4-for-36) and 16 strikeouts…his save last Wednesday was the 49th in his career, tying him with Wade Davis and Steve Farr for 9th in Royals history.

VS. TIGERS: The Royals and Tigers are meeting tonight for the 1st of 13 games between these teams this season…the Royals won 8 of their 1st 13 games vs. the Tigers last season before losing 5 of the last 6 as they went 9-10 overall to mark just the third time in the last 10 years that they lost the season series vs. the Tigers.

The Royals are 390-379 (.507) all-time vs. the Tigers, their 3rd-highest win percentage against any opponent (min. 50 games), trailing the Brewers (.546) and Mariners (.511)….in 769 meetings with Detroit, the Royals have averaged 4.7 runs per game, their most vs. any opponent min. 50 games).

Tigers Manager A.J. Hinch played two of his seven big league seasons in Kansas City from 2001-02.

NO MINOR FEAT: Minor League Baseball announced today that Royals minor league outfielder Gavin Cross, who was selected in the 1st round of last year’s First Year Player Draft, has been named Midwest League Player of the Week for the period of May 15-21…in 6 games last week, Cross hit .375 (9-for-24) and all 9 hits of his hits went for extra bases, including 4 doubles and 5 home runs…he homered in 5 of 6 games and also recorded 6 walks and a league-high 11 RBI during the week for a .500 on-base percentage while leading the Midwest League with a 1.167 slugging percentage and 1.667 OPS.

PACE OF PLAY: Through 48 games, the Royals average game time is 2 hours, 34 minutes, which is tied with Cleveland for the fastest average in the Majors this season ahead of the Rockies, Marlins and Pirates, who are all averaging 2:35…the Major League average for 9-inning games is 2 hours, 37 minutes, which is 3 minutes more than the Royals season average, which does include 1 extra-inning game…only four of the Royals previous 54 seasons have ended with a quicker average game time than their current mark of 2 hours, 34 minutes, and all four of those instances came within the team’s first decade of existence…the Royals averaged 2 hours, 28 minutes in both 1969 and 1971, 2 hours, 31 minutes in 1972 and 2 hours, 32 minutes in 1978.

BRADY SINGER is making his 10th start of the season and 73rd of his career tonight vs. Detroit…it’s his 11th career start vs. the Tigers, his most vs. any opponent…Singer is in his fourth season in the Majors and was selected by Kansas City in the 1st round (18th overall) of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Florida.

LAST START: Singer earned his 3rd win in the Royals 5-4 victory in San Diego last Tuesday, in which he allowed 4 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits and 2 walks in 6.0 innings, with 3 strikeouts…he was gifted with a 5-run lead in the 2nd inning, and benefited from a pair of double plays to hold that lead until the 5th, when the Padres scored 2 unearned runs thanks to 2 errors…Singer yielded 2 more runs in the 6th on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, and the bullpen held the 1-run lead to help Brady earn the win.

Singer has completed 6.0 innings in each of his last 2 starts, matching his number of 6.0-inning starts in his 1st 7 appearances to begin the season.

ON BEAT: After a rough start to the year, Brady appears to be back on track with his last 2 starts, during which he’s allowed 5 runs (3 ER) in 12.0 innings for a 2.25 ERA… the Royals have won both of those starts—after going 3-4 in his 1st 7 starts—and he’s completed 6.0 innings both times, something he did in only 2 of his 1st 7 starts.

Singer has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 4 of his 9 starts, and the Royals have won all 4 of those games…but he’s allowed at least 5 runs in his other 5 outings this season, and the Royals are only 1-4 in those games.

STOPPER: Singer has had success in his career following a Royals loss, and he’ll attempt to be the stopper again tonight after the Royals were swept in Chicago over the weekend…in 44 career appearances following a Royals loss, Singer is 16-11 with a 3.77 ERA (98 ER in 234.0 IP), and all 3 of his wins this year have followed a team loss.

WALK THIS WAY: Since the start of last season, Singer has recorded at least 5.0 innings without issuing a walk in 12 of 33 starts—including 3 this year—which are tied for the 3rd most such starts in the Majors, trailing Corey Kluber (15) and Aaron Nola (13)…he’s issued 51 walks in 199.0 innings since the start of 2022, and his 6.2% walk rate during that time is tied for 10th best in the American League (min. 190.0 IP).

CASTING CALLS: In 33 starts since his recall on May 17 of last season, Brady has induced a called strike on 637 of 3,148 pitches (20.2%), 3rd most in the Majors behind Logan Webb (656) and Aaron Nola (642)…Singer’s rate of 20.2% called strikes since May 17, 2022 leads the Majors by a wide margin (min. 2,500 pitches), ahead of Sonny Gray (17.7%)…since his 2020 debut season, Singer’s called-strike rate of 20.9% ranks 2nd in the Majors (min. 5,000 pitches), trailing only Adam Wainwright (21.1%).

CAN’T TOUCH THIS: Singer has recorded 382 strikeouts in 391.2 innings since his 2020 debut for an 8.8 K/9, which is the best rate in Royals history among pitchers who’ve started at least 70 games, ahead of Ian Kennedy (8.4), Jakob Junis (8.1) and Danny Duffy (8.1)…Brady’s 382 strikeouts are the most by a Royal through 75 career appearances ahead of Junis and the late Yordano Ventura (380)…to maintain his lead through 76 career appearances—a mark currently held by Junis (386) and followed by Ventura (385)—Singer needs to record at least 5 strikeouts tonight.

TIGER KING: In 10 career starts vs. Detroit, Singer is 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA (15 ER in 55.1 IP) and .235 opponents’ average (47-for-200), and has held the Tigers to 2 runs or fewer in 8 of those 10 starts…he’s one of five pitchers all-time with at least 6 wins and no losses in at least 10 career starts vs. the Tigers, along with Joe Coleman (9- 0), Aaron Civale (7-0), Yordano Ventura (7-0) and Pedro Martínez (6-0)…among that group, only Civale’s 2.06 ERA vs. the Tigers is lower than Singer’s 2.44 ERA.

The Royals have won 8 of Singer’s 10 starts vs. the Tigers, including all 3 last season, in which he went 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA (3 ER in 17.2 IP) and 21 strikeouts.

In 5 starts vs. the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, Singer is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA (6 ER in 29.1 IP), including 7.0 scoreless innings in a 4-0 win here last Sept. 11.

Singer’s 6 wins vs. Detroit account for more than 27% of his 22 career wins.

AT HOME: Singer is 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA (20 ER in 25.0 IP) in 5 starts at Kauffman Stadium this season and already has more losses than he had all of last season at home…in 2022, he went 8-2 over 15 appearances (14 starts) at The K with a 2.76 ERA (29 ER in 94.2 IP), including a 6-0 record and 1.67 ERA (11 ER in 59.1 IP) over his last 9 home starts…Brady started the Royals last home game on May 11 vs. the White Sox, a 4-3 walk-off win in which he allowed just 1 run on 5 hits over 6.0 innings.

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