(Sports Network) - Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke can continue a recent hot streak tonight when the Kansas City Royals host the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a three-game weekend series at Kauffman Stadium.
A 16-game winner with a 2.16 earned run average last season, Greinke was 7-11 this year after allowing six runs on 10 hits in a 7-1 loss at Seattle on Aug. 6. However, he's turned it around statistically in four starts since, allowing just seven runs on 28 hits in 30 innings while going 1-0 with three no- decisions.
He last faced the Tigers back on Opening Day in Kansas City and got a no- decision after allowing an earned run on six hits in six innings of Detroit's 8-4 win.
Lifetime against them, he is 11-5 with two complete games and a 2.45 ERA in 121 innings.
The Tigers counter with hard-throwing righty Jeremy Bonderman, who picked up his 10th career win against the Royals in his most recent start on Aug. 23. The 27-year-old scattered eight hits and allowed two runs while striking out three in the win, which was his first since Aug. 3 and stopped a three-start losing skid.
He was held out of his normal rotation slot five days later after feeling tightness in his rib cage and was replaced by rookie Alfredo Figaro, but a bullpen session this week went well enough for him to take the turn against the Royals.
Bonderman, who's won just 10 times in 44 games since the close of 2007 after notching double-digit wins for four straight seasons, is 2-5 on the road this year with a 6.83 ERA in 56 2/3 innings.
On Thursday in Minnesota, Gerald Laird's 13th-inning home run was the difference, as the Tigers pulled out a 10-9 victory over the Twins in the finale of a three-game series.
Laird's blast was one of five Tigers home runs, as Don Kelly, Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn also went deep. Casper Wells hit his first career homer to tie the contest in the ninth inning for Detroit, which had dropped the first two games of this set.
The Tigers, though, lost first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who had to leave the games with left biceps tendinitis. He is questionable for tonight's affair.
On Wednesday in Kansas City, Mitch Moreland's solo home run leading off the sixth inning proved to be the difference, as the Texas Rangers clipped the Royals, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a solo home run and an RBI double for the Royals, while Bryan Bullington (1-4) yielded four runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
The Royals have split their 12 meetings with the Tigers this season.