Opinion

Liam Hendriks makes spot start for Royals as series with Boston begins

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Liam Hendriks.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Liam Hendriks. The Kansas City Star

The Royals escaped Detroit still in sole possession of first place in the American League. But it was not pretty. Kansas City is still 5-11 against the Tigers this season, with three more games to go. The two clubs meet again next week at Kauffman Stadium.

In the interim, the Royals face a pair of fading Sox. Boston comes to town for four games this weekend. Chicago visits after that. Kansas City holds a one-game lead over Detroit and a 1 1/2 game lead over Seattle. But considering the impeding, suspended-game loss coming against Cleveland on Sept. 22, they can ill-afford any hiccups.

Here are the matchups for this weekend against the Red Sox:

Thursday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Liam Hendriks (1-4, 4.81 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (7-8, 5.29 ERA):

Friday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Yordano Ventura (12-9, 3.25 ERA) vs. RHP Allen Webster (3-3, 4.67 ERA).

Saturday, 6:10 p.m.: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-11, 4.54 ERA) vs. RHP Rubby De La Rosa (4-6, 4.01 ERA).

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: LHP Jason Vargas (11-8, 3.25 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (1-2, 3.95 ERA).

FROM THE STAR

The Royals traded for James Shields for nights like Wednesday. He led the way as Kansas City reclaimed the division.

Sam Mellinger wrote a column about Big Game James and how he lived up to his nickname.

Luke Hochevar played catch for the first time since Tommy John surgery in March.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

77.9 percent.

THE LEAD ON DETROIT IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

One game.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

"You’re Not So Good At Talking Anymore" by I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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