Wednesday's win, coupled with the White Sox loss to the Indians, gave the Tigers a one-game lead in the American League Central.
The Tigers will send Doug Fister to the hill on Thursday, and the right-hander is coming off his best start of the season. On Saturday he tossed a shutout against the Twins, allowing seven hits and striking out seven in the 8-0 victory.
Fister has been very strong in four September starts, posting a 3-1 record and a 2.33 ERA, going at least seven innings in three of those outings.
Fister has faced the division-rival Royals just once this season. He grabbed his second win of the season on July 7, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings in an 8-7 Tigers win.
The Royals will start right-hander Luis Mendoza, who snapped a streak of five starts without a win in his most recent outing, against the Indians. He's also had a pretty strong September, allowing two runs or fewer in three of four starts.
Mendoza's record is 8-9, and he likely has two starts remaining to try to reach .500.
"I'm looking for that, and we're facing one of the best teams right now and a hot lineup," Mendoza said. "But mentally I'm good, and I know I can do a good job against these guys. You just try to be focused on the game and not make too many mistakes."
Mendoza and the Royals are trying to win every game, regardless of the opponent, but they know the Tigers are fighting for a spot in the postseason.
"That's on my mind," Mendoza said. "I know they're going to be more ready, they're going to try hard to win, they're going to swing the bat and cause damage every time. Of course I think about that, but I just try to avoid mistakes and keep the ball down with a good sinker."
Royals: Moose stays error-free
Third baseman Mike Moustakas has gone 47 consecutive games without making an error; his last error came on Aug. 1, against the Indians. He leads all Major League third basemen in double plays, having being involved in 41.
Alex Gordon picked up two doubles in Wednesday's game, bringing his total to 51. He became the third Royal to hit 50 two-baggers in a season, joining Billy Butler, who hit 51 in 2009, and Hal McRae, who hit a club-record 54 in 1977.
Tigers: Another short outing for Porcello
The Tigers snapped a rough streak with Wednesday's victory. It was the first time they've won a game Rick Porcello started since Aug. 7, against the Yankees, ending a string of seven straight losses. Still, it wasn't a great outing by Porcello, who lasted just four innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits.
Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 batters in his shutout against Kansas City on Tuesday night. He is the first Tigers pitcher to throw a three-hit shutout with 10 or more strikeouts in September since Joe Coleman in 1971.
The Tigers haven't faced Mendoza often, but a few players have had success against him. Miguel Cabrera has three hits, including a home run, in nine career plate appearances. Austin Jackson has reached base seven of nine times, picking up five hits, two doubles, two RBIs and two walks.
Butler is hitting .333 in 17 career appearances against Fister, though he hasn't recorded an extra-base hit.