Royals look to ride strong offense into rematch vs. Tigers

It’s been a mighty month of May for the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals have won four games in a row and nine of their last 12. They’ve outscored their opponents 27-12 over their last four games and have scored at least five runs in eight of their wins this month.

Kansas City crossed home plate six times in the sixth inning alone in Monday’s 8-3 win against the Detroit Tigers, putting up an eight-spot for the second straight game. The Royals will look to stay hot in the middle contest of the three-game set on Tuesday night in Kansas City.

Five of those runs Monday came off reliever Joey Wentz, who came out of the bullpen to start the sixth inning but didn’t finish it after failing to record an out. The Tigers were forced to turn to their relievers in the third inning after starter Reese Olson was hit in the right hip by a comebacker off the bat of Michael Massey.

“Our guys put good at-bats together, and they did it one right after the other,” Kansas City manager Mike Quatraro said. “It was really impressive.”

Olson suffered a hip contusion on the comebacker but was walking around after the game.

“I feel fine,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll be a little bruised up, but should be good to go.”

Massey, meanwhile, went 3-for-4, scoring a pair of runs, including a solo shot in the second to open the scoring. He has three multi-hit outings in the past four games.

“Massey works really hard,” Kansas City’s Salvador Perez said. “Now that he’s (hitting) behind me, it’s even better. It’s pretty good the way he’s hitting right now. Good for him. Good for us, too.”

Perez himself has been thriving. The 34-year-old enters Tuesday’s game on a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-21 with a homer, five RBIs and three runs in that stretch.

It’s been a different story for the Tigers, who have dropped four of their past six games and 11 of their past 16.

“Probably the outcome is different (Monday) if I go in and do my job, which I didn’t,” Wentz said. “I don’t think you let it deter you. I think you come back tomorrow, try to get better and move on.”

Detroit has had some close losses during its current slump, coming within a run or two in seven of its last 11 setbacks. On Monday the Tigers cut a 2-0 deficit in half on a Kerry Carpenter home run before the Royals blew the game open.

Colt Keith had a solid night at the plate, going 3-for-4, including a double in the seventh inning that drove in Carpenter for the Tigers’ second run. The 22-year-old is 8-for-14 over the past four games, with three RBIs and three runs.

“I’m starting to hit balls hard in the air,” he said. “As soon as I get to that point, I’m able to start to let it loose on fastballs, get on time every time and do some damage.”

Right-hander Casey Mize (1-2, 3.50 ERA) will be on the mound for the Tigers on Tuesday. Mize is 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA while allowing 22 runs on 40 hits in 41 1/3 innings (eight career starts) against Kansas City, who on Monday became just the fifth major league team to win at least 30 games this season.

The Royals will counter with right-hander Alec Marsh (3-1, 2.43), who not only will face Detroit for the first time in his career but also his former Arizona State teammate Spencer Torkelson.

–Field Level Media