Kansas City’s best stretch of games this season came in Detroit. The reeling Royals are hoping history repeats itself during a three-game series that begins on Tuesday.
The Royals swept a four-game series in Detroit in late April and departed with a 14-7 record. They’re now one game under .500 after dropping eight straight, including a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend.
The visit to Detroit begins a seven-game road trip.
“I think in past years, you would see a lot more panic in the clubhouse,” infielder Hunter Dozier said. “We don’t see that one bit. We have some really good veteran guys that are helping us through this. We have a good manager and coaching staff that keep pushing us and telling us that we have a really talented team. We haven’t even played really good baseball, and it’s coming. And when we do, it’s going to be fun.”
They didn’t have any fun last week. They have been outscored 58-21 during the slide.
The White Sox piled up nine runs against them in each of the last two games. That’s a stark contrast to the Royals’ first series at Detroit, when the pitching staff gave up a total of five runs.
“We’re not happy, and it’s embarrassing when we don’t play the kind of baseball that we know we can play,” manager Mike Matheny said. “There should be a lot of quiet right now because this is something that stings. We take a lot of pride in how we go about our business, and when it doesn’t look like we want it to look, it doesn’t sit right.”
The hitters have also cooled off. None of Kansas City’s regulars possess a batting average higher than .275.
Brady Singer will pitch the series opener for the Royals. Singer collected one of those victories in Detroit, limiting the Tigers to one run on three hits in seven innings while racking up eight strikeouts on April 24.
That’s his lone victory this season. In his last outing on Wednesday, Singer (1-3, 3.41 ERA) got a no-decision while allowing three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to Cleveland.
Singer is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers.
Matthew Boyd (2-3, 2.27 ERA) will oppose Singer. Boyd had his last start skipped due to left knee tendinitis. He also had to wait an extra two days when Sunday’s game against Minnesota was postponed. Detroit had a scheduled off-day on Monday.
Boyd has faced the Royals more than any other opponent. In 23 career starts against them, Boyd is 7-10 with a 5.71 ERA.
The Tigers have won just four of their last 22 games but one of them came on Saturday when they downed the Twins 7-3. They had a five-run seventh-inning outburst.
Detroit has raised its team average to a still woeful .212 but it was below .200 until it scored 32 runs over the last five games.
“Hitting is contagious,” outfielder Robbie Grossman said. “It takes one or two guys to start going off and here goes the rest of the team. You see it around the league all the time. We’re just looking to build off that and continue to go.”
–Field Level Media