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Game 155: Royals (70-86) at Tigers (71-83)

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Gil Meche (12-11, 4.08) vs. Zach Miner (8-4, 4.16)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the battle to stay out of last place in the AL Central. Has it really come to this? Oh, yes. Only two games separate the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals coming into this three-game series, which begins Detroit's final homestand of the season. Let's bring on the pain. Let's bring on the noise.

After looking as if he was burning out in his previous two starts, Zach Miner pulled himself together for his last outing, once again looking like a pitcher who could be a meaningful part of next year's starting rotation. The Tigers didn't win the game, thanks to a Fernando Rodney meltdown, but Miner did his part, holding the Rangers to two runs and five hits over 7 1/3 innings. He's been outstanding against the Royals in three starts, allowing just one run in 19 innings.

Gil Meche is coming off a start in which he allowed just two runs and six hits in seven innings against the Mariners. He's been rather inconsistent over the past month, pitching two good games, then coming back with a bad one. If Meche continues along that pattern, however, he's due for a good performance tonight. Comerica Park has been good to him, as he's 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 11 starts there.

The Tigers won't have Gary Sheffield in the lineup tonight, as he'll begin serving a four-game suspension for his part in the brawl with the Cleveland Indians on Friday.

Royals Review has your SB Nation opposing view for the second-to-last series of the 2008 season.