Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Tigers, Royals try to snap out of offensive funks

Field Level Media
22 May 2023, 16:19 GMT+10

Fresh off losing a series in Washington, the Detroit Tigers arrive in Kansas City on Monday to begin a three-game set against the Royals as both clubs battle offensive doldrums.

Despite a 10-7 May record, allowing them to gain ground on the division-leading Minnesota Twins, the Tigers are struggling with the bats.

The Tigers have suffered three shutouts since May 9 while scoring eight runs in their last six losses, posting a .122 average (5-for-41) with runners in scoring position.

Detroit left 11 runners on base in a 6-4 loss at Washington on Sunday, including seven in scoring position.

"Every inning we had traffic, but couldn't come up with a big hit," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said after a 2-0 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

With just 157 runs scored in 44 games, Detroit's offense ranks last in the majors. They are 28th in batting average and 29th in slugging.

Javy Baez is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, and over the last 14 games, future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is hitting .143 (7-for-49) with just one RBI.

Spencer Torkelson's 21 RBIs lead the club; his .284 average in May (19-for-67) includes a pair of homers and 10 RBIs.

Detroit will face right-hander Brady Singer (3-4, 7.09 ERA) on Monday. Singer is 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA against the Tigers, having beaten Detroit twice in each of the last three seasons.

It will be Singer's 11th career start against the Tigers, his most against any opponent.

Among Detroit hitters, Jonathan Schoop has faced him the most, batting .368 with a homer in 19 at-bats.

After a rough beginning to the year, Singer has rebounded to post quality starts in his last two outings.

Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 3.44 ERA) will make his first start against the Royals. He threw an inning of relief against Kansas City as a rookie for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015.

Over his last three starts, Lorenzen allowed just two runs in 20 innings, with 11 strikeouts. Opponents are homerless against Lorenzen since April 26.

Lorenzen has been especially stingy against lefty hitters, holding them to a .165 average (13-for-79) with just seven extra-base hits while striking out 19 of 89 batters.

Returning home after winning two of nine on the recent road trip, Royals' hitters are also in a tailspin. In the seven losses, the Royals scored 13 runs and were shut out twice.

The club managed only three runs during a three-game sweep in Chicago over the weekend while hitting .133 (12-for-90). Kansas City nearly suffered a no-hitter Friday and managed just two hits over the final seven innings of Sunday's 5-2 loss to the White Sox.

Salvador Perez leads the Royals with 10 homers and 26 RBIs but has hit safely in just two of six games. Mired in a nine-game slump, Vinnie Pasquantino got the day off Sunday as he's hitting just .088 (3-for-34) with two RBIs in that span.

"There's a lot of frustration and anger," Pasquantino told the Kansas City Star. "We know we can be better than this, but we have to do it."

-- Field Level Media

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