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Tigers Face Royals, Go For 5th Straight Win

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers are trying to close out their season on a high note and tonight attempt to move three games over .500 when they continue a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.

Detroit won its fourth straight game on Monday, as Will Rhymes' two-run homer in the sixth put the Tigers ahead and Alex Avila blasted a solo shot in the eighth for insurance in a 7-5 victory.

Rhymes had to wait for his first career homer as the umpiring crew reviewed whether it cleared the wall in right field above the yellow line. Avila paced the offense with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the White Sox and have won 11 of their last 17 games overall.

Brad Thomas (6-2) threw 1 2/3 innings of relief to get the win and Phil Coke picked up his second save. Rick Porcello was tagged for 12 hits and five runs in a 5 1/3-inning start.

Reigning AL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke (9-13) was denied a chance at double- digit wins, as he was charged with six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in six innings.

"It's a losing record but it really doesn't matter, if I was 30-0 we'd still be losing," said Greinke of his tough 2010 season. "If I would have taken care of what I needed to take care of I wouldn't have a losing record."

Yuniesky Betancourt went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer for the Royals, who have lost three of four and five of eight overall.

Heading to the hill for the Tigers this evening will be righty Armando Galarraga, who is winless in his last five starts and is coming off an atrocious effort his last time out. Galarraga absorbed the loss in Texas on Wednesday, as he was roughed up for eight runs (seven earned) and eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He is 4-6 on the year with a 4.27 ERA.

Galarraga did not get a decision the last time he faced the Royals, and is 2-0 in eight games (seven starts) against them with a 2.47 ERA.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Bruce Chen, who is 10-7 with a 4.70 ERA. Chen beat the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, holding them to three runs and six hits in five innings.

Chen is 1-3 lifetime against the Tigers with a 7.00 ERA in 10 games (eight starts).

The Tigers have won nine of 16 over the Royals this year.