After a 5-2 road trip, the Tigers are home for the weekend, which gives them just enough time to kiss their wives and girlfriends, do a little laundry, and maybe sneak in a Coney dog. After that, it's back on the road for another 11 games. (Why do the schedule makers hate us?!? Can't Detroiters enjoy some baseball at the ballpark in July, too?)
The Royals roll into Detroit having won two of three games at Fenway Park, so it's not necessarily a given that the Tigers will be able to stretch out and end their streak of one-run nail-biters. Gil Meche hasn't drawn a loss in six straight starts (winning three of them), but has struggled in his last two appearances. In 11 innings, he's given up 10 runs. (Generous run support kept him from a loss each time.) Meche has decided to tweak his routine between starts to increase his stamina, so we'll see if that makes a difference tonight.
For the Tigers, Kenny Rogers kind of walked a tightrope in his last two games, getting pretty generous with the hits and walks. And it finally caught up to him in the sixth inning last Saturday against Seattle, when he loaded the bases and then served up a grand slam to Kenji Johjima. In his first two games after coming off the disabled list, however, Rogers was incredible, allowing only one run and six hits in 12 innings. Last year against the Royals, Rogers was 2-1 with a 4.78 ERA in four starts, so I suppose we can't just assume that he'll return to pitching mastery tonight.
Your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series is brought to you by our friends at Royals Review. And Will dragged out those old images of Rogers attacking a cameraman. C'mon, man - low blow. But at least there aren't any cracks about pine tar.
▪▪ Curtis Granderson has once again opened his mailbag.