Danny Duffy had one of his few not-so-good starts last night, but it was still enough to win and give the Royals the chance to win the series, today. It's a road series, and we all know how bad they've been on the road, but they've actually been very good within the division, going 22-12 so far.
The enigmatic Yordano Ventura actually pitched pretty well in his final start of the first half against Seattle. But we were all fooled into believing he'd be a consistently good start before when he famously pitched a pair of gems after intentionally beaning Manny Machado. His history against the Tigers this year doesn't reveal much, either. He has faced the them twice this year, already, the last game was one of the pair of very good outing between Baltimore and suspension - 6.1 innings 6 K, 0 BB, 5 hits and no runs allowed. The first one his third start of the year and he allowed 2 runs in 5 innings while walking 3 and giving up 6 hits. Which Ventura will show up for the Royals today?
Michael Fulmer, on the other hand, has been the picture of consistency since his first 4 starts. He has no allowed more than 2 runs or 1 earned run in a game since. He's also allowed only 2 total home runs over that 9 game stretch. He has faced the Royals once this year and they actually gave him his only loss since his second start of the season, though he pitched 5.2 innings and only allowed 1 run, he did give up 4 walks (a season high) and 5 hits so it really could have gone much worse for him. After the Tigers had to burn their long relief last night in an attempt to keep them in the game because Mike Pelfrey couldn't find the strike zone they may not be able to do it again should Michael Fulmer have similar issues.
The Sunday lineup: Escobar 6, Hosmer 3, Morales DH, Perez 2, Gordon 7, Orlando 9, Cuthbert 5, Colon 4, Dyson 8 (vs. Fulmer)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 17, 2016
#Tigers lineup: Kinsler 2B, Maybin CF, Miggy 1B, VMart DH, Castellanos 3B, Upton LF, Collins RF, Salty C, Iglesias SS; Fulmer RHP— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) July 17, 2016
The Royals have plenty more opportunities to play in Detroit this season, a win today would go a long way toward proving that they might win more of those games and have a shot at making the playoffs.