|Royals, trying to win first series since April, oppose Tigers|
The Royals have a chance to do something they haven't done since snow was a regular part of the Kansas City weather forecast.
With a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, the Royals have a chance to win a series for the first time since they swept a three-game set against the Cleveland Indians from April 12-14. Kansas City is 0-14-2 in its past 16 series.
The Royals will square off with the Tigers on Wednesday night in Kansas City before the three-game set concludes in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday as a prelude to the 2019 College World Series.
Cheslor Cuthbert's bloop hit scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday.
"That's the first break we've caught in a while, but I'll take it," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals had not won a game all season (0-36) when trailing after six innings prior to Tuesday's victory. It was the team speed that showed up. Adalberto Mondesi started the rally with a one-out hustle double. He scored when Jorge Soler ripped a double down the line.
Terrance Gore pinch-ran for Soler, then stole third and scored when Cuthbert dropped a hit between three defenders in short right field.
It left Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire wondering what else could go wrong.
"I guess it's no-man's land," Gardenhire said. "Somebody has to take charge on the ball. With us playing the infield in, it bloops out there. The ball landed, and that was just a break for them."
The Royals will be pinning their hopes Wednesday on left-hander Danny Duffy (3-3, 4.68 ERA). Duffy lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his last start, against the Boston Red Sox, after being struck in the right knee by a line drive. He faced six batters in the third, retiring only one, but he was clearly not himself in the inning.
The bruise didn't cause him to miss a start, and it didn't cause him to lose his sense of humor. Asked the next day how his knee felt, he said, "Like I was hit by a 109-mile-an-hour fastball."
When his skipper asked how his day was going, he responded, "Just fine, I took my dog out for a limp this morning."
This will be Duffy's first appearance against the Tigers this season. He is 8-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 appearances (22 starts) in his career against Detroit.
The Tigers will counter with Daniel Norris (2-5, 4.60 ERA). After starting the season in the bullpen, he allowed three runs in three innings of relief work against Kansas City this season. In his career, he is 1-2 with a 3.99 ERA in 10 appearances vs. the Royals (the previous nine as starts).
He has been more effective in Kansas City. In four career starts at Kauffman Stadium, Norris is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA.
In his latest start, he allowed three runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. One of those hits was a 427-foot home run by Travis d'Arnaud, the batter's first home run in 14 months. Norris was convinced he had to change his approach.
"It made me realize I had to come in and just attack them," he said. "It brought the life back on my heater, and I finished strong."
--Field Level Media