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First-Place Royals at Tigers Game Thread

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Kansas City heads to Detroit for a three-game showdown with the Tigers. The series begins tonight.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are 18-10 and 0.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central, but to extend their lead and avoid falling to second place, they must get through one of the best pitchers in baseball. Just six days ago, David Price threw a complete game and came within one out of a shutout, holding the Royals to five hits in a 2-1 victory. Tonight, Kansas City will take another shot at the former Cy Young winner as it hopes to maintain its perfect record in series openers.

Yordano Ventura, fresh off his seven game suspension, will get the ball for the defending American League Champions. The Royals have gotten just four innings of work from starting pitchers in the last two games, so Ventura needs to come through in the biggest way for Kansas City. He'll face one of the best offensive lineups in baseball, but as we all know, the Detroit bullpen continues to be very suspect. They were instrumental in the Tigers dropping a recent series with the Chicago White Sox, and as a result, they lost their place atop the division.

If you haven't heard by now, Jason Vargas has been placed on the disabled list, and Mike Moustakas will miss the series after being placed on the bereavement list. Kansas City did gain a player back for this game, as Alcides Escobar will make his first start since last Wednesday after missing seven games with a concussion. He'll bat leadoff for Ned Yost's club tonight, who lines up against their opponents as follows:

The Royals will be on national television the next two nights, so this is your only chance to hear Rex Hudler call a game in Detroit for now. The Royals were 4-5 at Comerica Park last season, and Yordano Ventura earned the win in both of his games against the Tigers last year. Here's to hoping that his fortune continues and that the Royals have a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central come tonight.