Pitching could shine again in Tigers-Royals clash
(Sports Network) - Winners of four straight, the Detroit Tigers will try to claim a series victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night, as the four-game series at Kauffman Stadium continues.
In a pitchers' duel on Friday night, the Tigers edged out the Royals by a 2-1 final thanks in large part to the efforts of Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez (6-3) surrendered eight hits over seven innings of work but walked none and allowed only one run for his fourth victory in his last six starts.
Joe Nathan was shaky in the ninth inning, allowing a hit and a walk, but escaped with his 19th save.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the third inning, Miguel Cabrera plated Rajai Davis on a sacrifice fly, which is all the Tigers would need. In the process, Cabrera tied Baltimore's Nelson Cruz for the major league lead in RBI with 74.
"We really had to fight for this one," Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday said.
Austin Jackson finished with three hits and a run scored, while Ian Kinsler had an RBI as well as his 10th steal of the year.
Danny Duffy (5-9) was the hard-luck loser, yielding just five hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out six in six innings.
"Up against a guy like Sanchez, you can't make any mistakes," Duffy said.
Kansas City's lone run came on an RBI single off the bat of Salvador Perez in the first inning.
Rick Porcello will attempt to bounce back from a rare poor performance for the Tigers on Saturday.
After Porcello pieced together 25 consecutive scoreless innings in his previous outings, including back-to-back shutouts, he was knocked around for 11 hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Tampa Bay on July 6.
Porcello, who's now 11-5 with a 3.53 ERA on the season, defeated the Royals in Kansas City on May 2 by allowing just two earned runs in six innings of work.
Kansas City will counter with its ace James Shields, who is 9-4 with a 3.71 ERA.
Shields had one of his best starts of the season in a July 7 win over Tampa Bay, yielding just three hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out 10. He now has 102 strikeouts on the campaign paired with only 27 walks.
The 32-year-old veteran has struggled in two starts against the Tigers this year, going 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA.
Detroit is 8-3 versus Kansas City on the year.
07/12 10:41:28 ET