Royals hope to climb ranks in Central

Royals hope to climb ranks in Central

KANSAS CITY -- Going into September, it seemed that the Royals' 7-20 record in August had doomed them to a last-place finish in the American League Central.

Well, maybe not.

Though they took a step back with Friday's loss to the White Sox, the Royals have put themselves in position to take dead aim at the Tigers, who lead them by three games. If Kansas City can have success in the final two home games against the White Sox and then do some damage in a three-game set at Detroit, there's a chance the Royals could leap past the Tigers.

"People might think I'm crazy, but I'm still hopeful we can find a way to make up those games and not finish last in the AL Central," manager Trey Hillman said. "I think that would be a psychological boost for us as an organization."

Before they can take aim at the Tigers, there's some unfinished business the next two days against the first-place White Sox.

"You always want to compare yourself to the pride of the division," Hillman said.

The Royals will have Kyle Davies on the mound on Saturday. He turned in a gem in his last outing against the Mariners and will be looking to build on that effort.

"If he can come anywhere close to the positive performance that he had in his last outing, then we're getting a lot of development from him here at the end of the year," Hillman said.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Kyle Davies (7-7, 4.32 ERA)
Davies finally found his groove on Monday night, shutting out Seattle for eight innings in a 3-0 victory. He gave up just four singles, no walks and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. Most of all, he threw strikes and kept from falling behind in the count which has been his downfall most of the season. In his eight innings, he needed just 98 pitches and 66 were strikes. This is the fourth time he'll face the White Sox. He's 1-1 with a no-decision in his three starts, giving up three runs in each outing.

CWS: RHP Gavin Floyd (16-7, 3.73 ERA)
Floyd's biggest strikeout of the season came during Tuesday's 6-2 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday, when he fanned Jason Giambi with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning as the culmination of a 12-pitch at-bat. Floyd improved to 9-2 this season after a White Sox loss, allowing two runs on nine hits over seven innings against the Yankees, striking out four and throwing a career-high 116 pitches. Floyd has a 1-1 record with a 2.08 ERA against the Royals this season, and has an 0-1 career record at Kauffman Stadium. He will be coming back on three days' rest to set him up on regular rest for next week's start at the Metrodome.

Crown points
Sister Margaret Marie Mitchell was in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat on Friday. She was the recipient of the Fine Arts Distinguished Achievement Award this past year for her dedication and commitment to the students at Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kan. ... Royals reliever Robinson Tejada had to leave Friday's game with a left hip flexor strain. He will be re-evaluated over the next couple of days. ... Alberto Callaspo went 1-for-4 on Friday to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• None

On radio
• KCSP 610

Up next
• Sunday: Royals (Brandon Duckworth, 3-1, 5.19) vs. White Sox (John Danks, 10-8, 3.32), 1:10 p.m. CT
• Monday: Royals (Gil Meche, 12-11, 4.08) at Tigers (Zach Miner, 8-4, 4.16), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 12-10, 3.59) at Tigers (Freddy Garcia, 1-0, 0.00), 6:05 p.m. CT

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.