The host Royals try to make up ground on the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers on Thursday, when the division rivals begin a four-game series. All-Star Alex Gordon (sprained left wrist) likely won’t be available for the Royals, who trail the Tigers by 4 ½ games after rallying to beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on Wednesday.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Drew Smyly (4-8, 3.89 ERA) vs. Royals RH Jeremy Guthrie (5-7, 4.02)
Smyly has lost his last two outings, giving up nine runs in 7 2/3 innings, after four straight starts in which he allowed two or fewer runs.
Guthrie permitted two or fewer earned runs in seven of eight starts before surrendering six in four innings of a loss at Cleveland on Saturday.
– Over is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 overall.
– Over is 3-0-1 in Royals last 4 games following a win.