|Tigers look to take 3 of 4 from Royals|
Miguel Cabrera said he feels energized by the way his younger Detroit Tigers teammates are playing.
The Tigers have won five of their last six games and will try to take the finale of a four-game series against visiting Kansas City on Sunday. The Tigers won two of the first three games this weekend, including a 12-4 romp Saturday.
"A lot of guys, they want to prove they can play in the big leagues, want to prove they're good," Cabrera said. "They have great talent. So when you see a team like that, it makes you feel good and makes you go out there and play hard like they play, too."
Detroit (9-10) gave away a ninth-inning lead in the nightcap of a doubleheader Friday but roared right back the next afternoon.
"After last night, a really tough one in that nightcap, that's a good rebound," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "These guys came back and really got after it early in the game. That's always fun to see. You don't anything to lull and drag and it didn't."
Cleanup hitter Nicholas Castellanos hit his first homer of the season Saturday. They also got another homer from second-year outfielder JaCoby Jones.
Jones, who batted .170 last season, has four extra-base hits in the series. He raised his average to .297 this weekend.
"I'm pretty confident. That's the biggest thing," he said. "If I struggle or if I hit two homers, I'm just trying to be the same person. Just staying positive and being confident. It's helped out so far. That's how the clubhouse is. Everybody's confident and having fun."
Cabrera said he feels confident at the plate, even if he's no longer an MVP-type player. He's batting a team-best .299 with two homers and 13 RBIs, as well as a .392 on-base percentage.
Castellanos is hitting .286 and third baseman Jeimer Candelario, another second-year player, is hitting .275 with three homers and 10 RBIs after a slow start. Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin, picked off the scrapheap and making less than $2 million, leads the team with 14 runs scored.
Francisco Liriano will oppose Erik Skoglund on Sunday.
Liriano (2-1, 2.55 ERA) won his team debut against Kansas City on April 2, allowing one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. In his last outing Tuesday, he gave up two runs in five innings against Baltimore and was credited with the victory.
He's 8-5 with a 4.16 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Royals (4-15).
Skoglund (0-2, 9.31) has given up five earned runs in both his starts this season, including a five-inning stint against Toronto on Tuesday. The 6-foot-7 left-hander made one start against the Tigers last season, holding them scoreless over 6 2/3 innings and collecting the victory.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost is seeing signs of life from his offense, though poor pitching nullified that Saturday.
"We got 11 hits," he said. "Look, we're getting guys on. We're not driving guys in but we're getting guys on. Just keep getting on until we start driving guys in."