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Tigers Seek Third Straight Win Tonight Vs. Royals

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers can pull back to .500 in the midst of a lengthy second-half slump tonight, when they visit Kauffman Stadium for the second of three weekend games with the host Kansas City Royals.

The Tigers won Friday's opener, 9-5, when Will Rhymes' two-run triple in the top of 11th highlighted the four-run inning.

Ryan Raburn added his ninth homer in 21 games and drove in two runs for the Tigers, who have recently won three of five. Raburn has been on a tear during the 21-game stretch, batting nearly .350 over his torrid streak.

Brandon Inge had two hits and two RBI, while Don Kelly had three hits in the win. Ryan Perry (3-5) earned the victory with two scoreless innings of relief after Jeremy Bonderman allowed four runs, seven hits and five walks in a 7 1/3-inning start.

The Tigers were in contention in the American League's Central Division at the All-Star break, but went on to lose 13 of 17 games over the remainder of July before going 13-16 in August.

They enter Saturday sitting third in the division, 11 games behind first-place Minnesota.

Alex Gordon homered, while Yuniesky Betancourt drove in two runs for the Royals, who have lost five of seven. Starting pitcher Zack Greinke had a no- hitter through 4 1/3 frames before faltering, giving up four runs, six hits and two walks while fanning only three in 6 1/3 frames.

On the mound for Detroit tonight will be young right-hander Rick Porcello, who tries to duplicate a gem against Kansas City two starts ago. In that Aug. 24 outing at Comerica Park, the 21-year-old allowed just two hits and struck out four in seven scoreless innings of the Tigers' 9-1 victory.

He allowed 10 hits and three runs in a previous 2010 start against the Royals, back on April 14, and picked up a no-decision in a 7-3 Detroit loss.

Porcello earned just his second road win of the season in his last outing, scattering three hits in seven innings while allowing one run and striking out four in a 10-4 triumph at Toronto on Sunday.

For Kansas City, journeyman southpaw Bruce Chen can reach double-digit wins for the second time in a career that's seen him pitch for 10 teams when he toes the rubber tonight.

The 33-year-old Panamanian debuted in the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 1998 and pitched for Philadelphia, the New York Mets, Montreal, Cincinnati, Boston and Houston before finally breaking through for 13 wins with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005.

He was winless in 40 appearances with Baltimore a year later, however, and has subsequently pitched for Texas and the Royals while going 10-13 with a save in 49 appearances.

Chen has made 17 starts in 27 outings with Kansas City in 2010 and picked up win No. 9 Sunday at Cleveland with six innings of six-hit, two-run ball in a 6-2 triumph.

He allowed five hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 12-3 loss to the Tigers in Detroit on Aug. 23 and is 1-3 in nine career appearances (seven starts) against the Tigers.

The Tigers have won seven of 13 meetings with the Royals so far this season.