(Sports Network) – The Detroit Tigers try to strengthen their lead atop the American League Central standings this afternoon when they conclude a four- game set with the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.
The Tigers picked up their second straight win on Wednesday, as Wilson Betemit capped a three-run eighth with an RBI double, helping Detroit rally for a 5-4 victory.
Ramon Santiago and Victor Martinez also knocked in one run apiece in the eighth for the division-leading Tigers, who maintained their 5 1/2-game edge on Cleveland.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello gave up four runs on eight hits over seven innings, while Daniel Schlereth (2-1) tossed a scoreless eighth to pick up the win.
“The offense has picked us up all year,” Porcello said.
Jose Valverde worked around a two-out single and walk in the ninth to pick up his 40th save of the season. He is the second pitcher in Tigers history to register 40 saves in a single season. Todd Jones established a Tigers single- season record with 42 saves during the 2000 season.
Eric Hosmer hit a pair of solo home runs to record his first career multi- homer game for the Royals, who have lost two in a row since a two-game winning streak.
Nate Adcock made a spot start in place of Felipe Paulino, who was scratched earlier on Wednesday because of back spasms. Adcock allowed two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Today, the Tigers turn to prized rookie prospect Jacob Turner, who will be making his second big league start. The ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, Turner was tagged with the loss in his first start back on July 20 [ed. note: It was July 30] against Anaheim, as he allowed two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will rely on a young hurler of its own in lefty Danny Duffy, who is 3-8 with a 5.55 ERA. Duffy did not get a decision on Saturday in Cleveland, as he surrendered four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-7 loss.
Duffy has lost his two starts to the Tigers this season and has pitched to a 4.09 ERA in doing so.
“He’s just got really good stuff,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Duffy. “A little young and can sometimes be a little erratic, but he’s really got good equipment. I like him a lot.”
Detroit is 10-5 this season versus the Royals.