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Game CLII: Royals at Tigers

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Jorge Lopez (ribs) is expected to start

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins

When Hunter Dozier ran into Jorge Lopez attempting to run down a high chopper just behind the mound, there was nothing to suggest anything was wrong. If I saw the highlight without the benefit of the “Lopez collides with Dozier” headline, I would have thought the highlight was the Willians Astudillo infield single.

Lopez would record three more outs before head trainer Nick Kenney was summoned after a Robbie Grossman single in the 5th. He exited the game with a rib contusion, which was largely overshadowed by Salvador Perez’s walk-off grand slam.

He’ll be back on the mound tonight, having not missed a start, after having his X-rays and MRI come back clean. Lopez will make his 7th start as a Royal and is looking to continue a strong September, to which he has given up just five runs in 19.1 innings. That includes his near no-hitter two starts ago and puts his September ERA at 2.33.

He will take on a Tigers team that is reeling, having lost eight of their last 10 games. The offense has been a problem, scoring at least five runs in just two of their last ten games. One of those instances was in support of Daniel Boyd, who is among the hottest players in Detroit.

Thus far in September, Boyd has pitched in 18.1 innings and given up just six earned runs, good for a 2.95 ERA. It should be noted that five of those six runs were via the long ball. He has also struck out 24 batters during that span, including 11 in a September 8th win over the Cardinals.

The lefty will see a heavy dose of right-handers, as the first seven batters in the Royals lineup will be hitting from the right-hand batters box. That also means that the Best First Baseman In Baseball will get the night off.

Here are your lineups for game one of this four-game set in Detroit.