The Detroit Tigers could have their most recognizable player back in the lineup as soon as Saturday against Kansas City.
Miguel Cabrera took batting practice on Friday without any issues and is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list this weekend. Cabrera has been sidelined by a biceps strain.
“He’s doing well,” manager AJ Hinch said. “This was his last test. He will take some ground balls and do a little extra (conditioning) work, then we will make a decision.”
Matthew Boyd will start the second game of the four-game series for Detroit. Boyd (2-1, 2.03 ERA) has gone six-plus innings in his last three starts.
In his last outing, Boyd held Oakland to just one run in seven innings before he gave up a solo homer in the eighth.
“It wasn’t the only mistake I made in this game. … Sometimes you don’t realize them,” Boyd said afterward. “Sometimes it goes down as a strike or a ball or ends up in someone’s glove. That one, it ended up on the other side of the fence.”
Boyd will be facing a couple of hitters that have given him fits over the years. The Royals usual leadoff hitter, Whit Merrifield, has a .521 batting average in 48 career at-bats, including 10 extra-base hits, against the left-hander. Hunter Dozier has smacked 10 hits in 21 at-bats against Boyd, including five extra-base hits.
Boyd has started 22 games in his career against Kansas City, posting a 7-9 record and 6.05 ERA.
He’ll be opposed by Brady Singer (0-2, 3.77 ERA), who tossed six scoreless innings against Toronto in a no-decision on Sunday. Singer gave up just two hits.
“Even though I had good command, I was just trying to stay away from the mistakes more than anything, especially with two strikes,” he said afterward. “I just want to make sure I didn’t leave anything in the middle of the plate for them to do damage on. I feel like I did a really good job of that.”
Singer is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three career starts against Detroit.
He’ll face a Tigers offense that ranks last in the American League in runs per game. Kansas City won the opener 6-2 as Detroit hitters struck out 14 times. The Tigers have lost seven of their last eight games.
“I know guys are grinding. I know who’s struggling, I know who’s got their chin down a little bit but you have a decision to make as a major league player whether to take it personal or not when you’re struggling,” Hinch said.
Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi is off to a rough start, but he responded on Friday with his first homer in a Kansas City uniform. He added another hit and scored twice.
“I’ve been a slow starter for most of my career,” Benintendi, who is now hitting .219, said in a postgame TV interview. “It’s usually two weeks before I kind of get going. I feel like the last few games I’ve been putting good at-bats together and hitting the ball hard. Hopefully, I can continue to do that.”
–Field Level Media