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Game One Hundred and Fifty-Eight: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers

The last Wednesday game of the season.

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The bad baseball team from Detroit will take on the worse baseball team from Kansas City tonight at Comerica Park. Detroit took care of business in the series opener last night, so Kansas City will look to bounce back this evening. With a win tonight, the Royals can guarantee a September record above .500, their only such month this season.

Jonathon Bowlan will make his major league debut as an opener for Kansas City tonight, though he has mostly been a starter in the minors and could go longer than just a couple innings. The 2018 second-round pick looked to be on a promising path before Tommy John surgery in 2021. He simply hasn’t been the same since, posting an ERA north of five at every level (save one High-A start last year) since returning. Hopefully he can get back on track in 2024, but this is a reminder that not everybody fully bounces back from TJ.

Angel Zerpa figures to follow Bowlan in a bulk role. Zerpa has served in such a role down the stretch and put together a strong September, striking out 12 batters with just one walk in 14.1 innings and posting a 1.26 ERA along the way. He tossed 5.1 shutout innings following Zack Greinke last week. Zerpa has faced Detroit once in his career, pitching two scoreless innings last year on July 11.

Tarik Skubal will start for Detroit. He has been the most successful of the Mize-Manning-Skubal triumvirate that figured to be the core of Detroit’s pitching staff for their next competitive team. Holding Skubal back has been injuries, as he has made just 35 starts since the beginning of 2022. He missed most of this season’s first half with injury but has been at his best since returning. Skubal has completed at least six innings in six of his last seven starts and punched out at least seven batters in each of them. Overall, he carries a 2.95 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 14 starts this season. His last start against Kansas City was his worst of the season, allowing seven runs in four innings on July 18.

First pitch: 5:40 pm CDT

Royals lineup

Tigers lineup