|After doubleheader split, Tigers, Royals face off again|
The Detroit Tigers will try to start another winning streak on Saturday after nearly completing a doubleheader sweep on Friday.
Detroit (8-10) won its fourth straight in the opener, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on JaCoby Jones' walk-off homer in the 10th inning.
The Royals (4-14) snapped a nine-game losing streak in the nightcap, rallying for two ninth-inning runs against Tigers closer Shane Greene in another 3-2 game. The Royals pulled off the comeback with three singles and an error.
"It's tough to lose any time you get your closer in the game," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He made some good pitches and they flipped the ball in the outfield. It's a good feeling when you've got Greenie in there. It just didn't work out this time."
Royals ace Danny Duffy (0-2, 3.86 ERA) will oppose Mike Fiers (1-1, 3.86) on Saturday afternoon in the third game of the four-game series in Detroit.
Gardenhire doesn't anticipate any lingering effects from blowing a ninth-inning lead.
"That will be done with as soon as you guys leave the room and ask questions about it," he said. "We'll turn around and come back right here and play again tomorrow. We had a good night. We went 1-1 but we had a chance to sweep these guys and it got away from us at the end."
The Tigers scored a season-high 13 runs while defeating Baltimore on Thursday, completing a three-game series sweep.
Only one Detroit player had any sustained success offensively on Friday. Jones, who batted .170 last season and struck out 65 times in 141 official at-bats, had three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs in the doubleheader.
"He's shortened his swing and he's concentrating on trying to bang the ball somewhere and he's done that," Gardenhire said. "He's doing fine. He's worked really hard."
The Royals gave up 31 runs while getting swept in a three-game series against Toronto earlier in the week. The pitching in the doubleheader was stellar, but they struggled to push across runs until the last inning.
"It's not from lack of effort, not for lack of trying," Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "A ball falls here or there and this thing turns around."
Duffy has gotten progressively better from start to start but is still looking for his first win. Duffy, who has made four starts, held Toronto scoreless in six innings in his last outing while allowing just two hits and striking out eight.
He still wound up with a no-decision. In his outing before that, he gave up one earned run in 5 1/3 innings to Seattle.
He is quite familiar with the Tigers. Duffy has faced them 22 times, including 19 starts, compiling a 7-8 record and 4.03 ERA. Last year, Duffy was 2-1 with a 5.17 ERA against Detroit.
He is 5-2 with a 3.40 ERA in nine outings at Comerica Park.
Fiers will make his third start for Detroit after signing a one-year contract as a free agent. He held the Chicago White Sox scoreless over six innings in his team debut, then allowed six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings to the New York Yankees. Fiers has made five career starts against the Royals, going 1-3 with a 4.78 ERA. He was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against Kansas City last year.