. UP NEXT
Tonight through Sunday
What's new: The Royals (30-33) have won seven of eight, continuing their roll with a come-from-behind walkoff victory over the AL Central-leading Tigers on Wednesday afternoon. After a scuffling offense led to a mid-May freefall with losses in 13 of their final 15 games of the month, the Royals inserted Hall of Famer George Brett as interim hitting coach. That has helped, but it has been the pitching that has kept them afloat. They boast the best ERA in the league, led by ex-Ray RHPs James Shields and Wade Davis, who starts Sunday.
Key stat: The Royals have 33 home runs, tied for fewest in the majors.
Connections: Shields and Davis are ex-Rays, as is INF Elliot Johnson. Former USF and Rays pitcher (and adviser) Dave Eiland is the Royals pitching coach. … Rays RHPs Jamey Wright, Kyle Farnsworth and Jake Odorizzi are former Royals.
Series history: The Royals won both matchups in Kansas City in late April/early May. The Rays lead overall 67-54, 41-24 at Tropicana Field.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer