A couple of left-handers are set to square off Friday night at Kauffman Stadium when the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner will go for his 14th win of the season. In his last start, Bumgarner tossed a two-hit shutout against the New York Mets on Sunday after getting shelled in his previous outing. The lefty struck out 10 and threw first-pitch strikes to all but six of the 30 batters he faced.
"Being able to get ahead and throw strike one and get some quick outs with the fastball made the difference," Bumgarner said of that outing.
While Bumgarner boasts a 1.58 ERA on the road this season, he has never faced the Royals in his career.
For Kansas City, Jason Vargas is set to make his second start since returning from an appendectomy that kept him out for almost a month. Against Oakland last week, Vargas yielded seven runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. All of those runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning.
Both teams are currently in second place in their respective divisions.
Kansas City has won 12 of 15 after finishing off a three-game sweep in Arizona this week. At the moment, the Royals hold the AL's second wild card spot.
Alex Gordon delivered a two-run homer to help lift the Royals to a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Starter Jeremy Guthrie went the distance and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked nobody.
"Obviously we're playing well and that's all we can control," left fielder Alex Gordon said. "We haven't really played Detroit in a while so we're not really concerned where they're at right now. We're just trying to take care of our business and go from there."
Meanwhile, San Francisco dropped two of three to the Brewers in Milwaukee this week. On Thursday, the Giants were on the wrong end of a 3-1 final, as they managed only one run in 6 2/3 innings against Brewers starter Wily Peralta. Giants starter Jake Peavy allowed Khris Davis' go-ahead RBI double in the sixth to lose his 12th straight decision.
"The good thing is, we're still in the fight," center fielder Angel Pagan said. "This is the time for us to get on a roll and finish strong."
This marks the first meeting between these teams since 2008 and only the 10th overall.