As Prince Fielder rediscovered his power stroke in the series opener, the Detroit Tigers attempt to further cool off the visiting Kansas City Royals when the division rivals play game two of a doubleheader on Friday night. Fielder’s towering two-run homer on Thursday was his first since July 24, ending a 19-game drought, as the Tigers posted a 4-1 victory in the opener of the five-game series before dropping game one of the doubleheader. Detroit is 6 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central following the loss Friday afternoon.
Kansas City had lost three straight contests following a 17-3 run and stands 7 1/2 games behind Detroit and 5 back of the Oakland Athletics for the AL’s second wild-card spot. The Royals have scored just three runs during their skid after registering at least five a total of 10 times during the 20-game hot stretch. Detroit’s Andy Dirks got a start in the leadoff spot with Austin Jackson not in the starting lineup and went 4-for-4 with two runs scored on Thursday.
TV: 7:08 p.m. ET, FSN (Kansas City, Detroit)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH James Shields (7-8, 3.33 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Jose Alvarez (1-2, 5.03)
Shields has won three of four outings since falling to Detroit on July 21. He allowed three runs and nine hits over seven innings in that loss, his only decision in three starts against the Tigers this season. Shields is 5-2 with a 3.56 ERA in 12 career outings against Detroit, with all the victories coming as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Alvarez is being recalled from Triple-A Toledo to make the start and will be returned afterward. He lasted just three innings in his last start on July 1 against Toronto as he allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits. Alvarez has gone 3-2 with a 2.82 ERA in seven starts at Toledo since being demoted in early July.
1. Kansas City 1B Eric Hosmer recorded two hits on Thursday for his ninth multi-hit performance in his last 13 games.
2. Tigers OF Torii Hunter drove in a run in the series opener, his 112th career RBI against Kansas City.
3. Hosmer and Detroit's Ramon Santiago both hit solo home runs in the first game of the doubleheader Friday afternoon.