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Preview: Tigers Look To Take Series From Royals

(Sports Network) - Brian Bannister will try to continue his recent winning ways when he takes the hill this afternoon for the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

After a slow start to the season, Bannister has reeled off four consecutive wins, including a 6-3 decision over the Angels in his last outing. In Tuesday's victory over Anaheim, the right-hander surrendered three runs in 5 1/3 innings of work.

It was the fourth home win on the year for Bannister, who has posted a 3.65 earned run average in six starts at Kauffman Stadium.

Earlier this season the veteran twirler held the Tigers to just two runs in 6 1/3 innings, but he did not factor in the decision. In eight career matchups against Detroit, Bannister has been rather impressive, posting a 4-2 mark with an equally-strong 2.12 ERA.

Jeremy Bonderman will look to counter Bannister this afternoon when he toes the rubber for Detroit. The right-hander has just two victories in his last nine starts and has been inconsistent since the beginning of the season.

The last time Bonderman was on the hill he took a hard-luck setback against Cleveland on Tuesday. In the 3-2 loss to the Tribe, the veteran hurler allowed all three runs but lasted eight innings, while scattering nine hits.

Bonderman has made 23 career appearances against Kansas City, 18 of which have been starts. However, he has had mixed success against the divisional foe, racking up a 9-6 mark with a 4.11 earned run average.

Yesterday, Justin Verlander pitched into the eighth inning and Carlos Guillen hit a two-run double in the top half of the eighth that scored the eventual deciding run as the Tigers held on for a 4-2 win against Kansas City.

Verlander (6-4) yielded five hits, but two came to start the bottom of the eighth, after which he was lifted while still working on a shutout, and both runners came around to score. Still, the hard-throwing righty walked three and fanned four to halt a two-start skid.

Miguel Cabrera hit a solo home run, had two hits and scored twice for Detroit, which fell victim to a 13-hit attack by the Royals in a 7-3 loss in Friday's opener to this three-game set. The Tigers have won three of their last four overall.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar (5-4) struck out a season-high 10 batters in seven innings, walking two and giving up just a run on six hits in a tough defeat. Blake Wood took over in the eighth and gave up three runs on three hits to break open what was a 1-0 game.

Jose Guillen and Alberto Callaspo collected an RBI apiece in the Royals' sixth loss in eight games.

Cabrera launched his 17th home run of the year off the left-field foul pole with two outs in the sixth to serve as the game's lone run through seven innings.

Detroit won two of three games from the Royals at Kauffman Stadium from April 5-8, with the teams having split eight overall meetings so far this season.