Jermey Guthrie and Jason Vargas switched places in the Royals starting rotation, with Guthrie going Sunday against the Tigers and the left-handed Vargas set to start the series opener against the Indians on Tuesday.
Greg Holland completed a simulated inning on Saturday afternoon, and the Royals are hope their two-time All Star closer can be activated from the disabled list by Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
Chris Young started for the Royals on Friday night against the Detroit Tigers because of Edinson Volquez’s five-game suspension for engaging in the brawl with the Chicago White Sox. He shut down the Tigers to lower his ERA to 1.23 in six outings. Young operated on a limited pitch count due to his usage mostly as a long reliever thus far.
The Royals’ 15-7 record heading into Friday’s game (7:10 p.m. on Fox Sports KC) against the Tigers matches the Astros for the best in the American League, so it’s no surprise that the Royals are at or near the top of several statistical categories.
Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar wasn’t available to play in the series opener against the Tigers on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium, but could return for Friday’s game. Escobar told reporters before Thursday’s game that he hoped to play Friday, but that will depend on a test he’ll take earlier in the day. A stint on the disabled list is still a possibility.
Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura has dropped the appeal of his seven-game suspension and will start serving it Thursday night when the Royals play the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. That means Ventura’s next start will be in the series opener at Detroit on May 8.
Alex Gordon will bat leadoff for the first time this season as the Royals take on the Tigers on Thursday night. First pitch at Kauffman Stadium is 7:10 p.m. and the game will air on Fox Sports Kansas City.
Somewhat obscured by the spectacle of Chris Young and Ryan Madson holding Detroit hitless through seven innings and Kendrys Morales’ three RBIs on Friday was the crucial game within the game between Royals’ reliever Kelvin Herrera and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
Royals closer Greg Holland, who is eligible to return from the 15-day DL on Sunday, threw 15 pitches off a mound on Tuesday in his first bullpen session since straining his right pectoral muscle, manager Ned Yost said.