The problem is, the Royals rarely reciprocate that effort with a quality offensive start of their own.
Greinke has historically had trouble with run support pitching for Kansas City, notching a respectable ERA without the winning record to match. In his past 10 outings for the Royals, his teammates have averaged just 2.4 runs per game.
The uphill climb won't get any easier for Greinke on Friday, coming up against a team that has had great offensive success against the Royals recently. The Tigers outscored the Royals, 24-8, in the teams' last three-game series, which saw Detroit take two out of three.
"It was good to see everybody throw some hits in, big hits, knocking in runs with singles and doubles," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said during that series, in which Greinke did not pitch.
Greinke's strikeout-walk ratio stands at 3.62, good for sixth in the American League. In his last time out, though, he walked three in the second inning before holding the Indians to just two runs through eight innings.
"I came in after the first two innings like, 'I don't know what I could have done different,'" Greinke said after that start. "I threw everything I could possibly throw, with good locations. They just had amazing at-bats. Every single one of them."
Right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who missed his last scheduled start on Saturday at Toronto with tightness around his rib cage, is expected to take the hill on Friday for the Tigers. Bonderman said he felt well enough after throwing on Tuesday to make the start, but if not, Alfredo Figaro would fill in.
Bonderman, who has a 7-9 record with a 5.27 ERA this year, has taken the ball to start games and come out of the 'pen for the Tigers this year.
And despite Detroit's large deficit in both the American League Central and Wild Card races -- after Thursday's extra-inning win over the Twins, the Tigers sit 11 games back in the division -- Leyland said his club still has something to play for.
"We're fighting for survival," Leyland said. "I hate the term spoiler, because we're not out of it. We're still playing for something."
Royals: Kendall to have surgery
Royals manager Ned Yost said on Wednesday that catcher Jason Kendall will undergo right shoulder surgery on Friday. Brayan Pena and Lucas May are expected to share the catching load in his absence, which could be eight to 10 months. ... Greinke is 11-5 in his career against the Tigers, his highest win total against any opponent. He's 4-1 with a 0.92 ERA in his past seven starts against Detroit dating back to Sept. 23, 2008.
Tigers: Cabrera injured
Miguel Cabrera left Thursday's game against the Twins in the top of the sixth inning with tendinitis in his left biceps. Cabrera didn't appear to visibly injure himself during the game and hadn't been dealing with any known arm injuries in recent days.
The club announced Cabrera's status as day-to-day, but his availability for Friday's opener wasn't immediately known. If Cabrera has to miss any significant time, it'd have a large impact on the Tigers' offense. Cabrera currently leads the Majors with 107 RBIs. His .338 average is also among the league leaders.
Wednesday's loss to the first-place Rangers dropped the Royals to 8-8 in rubber match games this year. ... The Tigers and Royals have split their 12 meetings this season. The Tigers are 3-3 in Kansas City.
Fri, 9/3 8:10 PM ET
Rhymes helps Will Tigers to victory in KC
Will Rhymes' two-run triple triggered a four-run 11th as the Tigers needed extra frames to win for the second straight night. Alex Gordon homered in the eighth to tie it for KC after Ryan Raburn's shot put Detroit ahead.
|Jackson, A, CF||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.305|
|Peralta, Jh, SS||6||0||1||0||0||1||4||.251|
|Wells, C, CF-RF||5||1||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Pena, B, C||3||1||1||1||2||0||1||.217|
|Betancourt, Y, SS||5||1||1||2||0||0||4||.267|
1-Ran for Butler in the 9th.
3B: Rhymes (2, Chavez).
HR: Raburn (12, 8th inning off Wood, Bl, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Rhymes 3; Raburn 5; Boesch; Peralta, Jh; Kelly 3; Inge 2; Avila 2; Wells, C.
RBI: Inge 2 (56), Avila (23), Raburn 2 (48), Rhymes 2 (12), Jackson, A (30).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Avila 2; Damon 2; Kelly; Peralta, Jh.
SAC: Jackson, A 2.
Team RISP: 6-for-14.
Team LOB: 8.
DP: 2 (Inge-Rhymes-Kelly, Kelly-Peralta, Jh-Kelly).
2B: Pena, B (4, Bonderman).
3B: Blanco (2, Bonderman).
HR: Gordon (6, 8th inning off Schlereth, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Blanco 3; Butler 2; Fields; Gordon 4; Pena, B 2; Getz 2; Betancourt, Y.
RBI: Pena, B (8), Betancourt, Y 2 (67), Blanco (9), Gordon (14).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Betemit; Betancourt, Y.
GIDP: Betemit; Betancourt, Y.
Team RISP: 3-for-9.
Team LOB: 8.
E: Fields (1, fielding).
Outfield assists: Blanco (Inge at home).
DP: (Getz-Betancourt, Y-Butler).
IBB: Damon (by Chavez).
Pitches-strikes: Bonderman 109-62, Schlereth 9-4, Weinhardt 25-16, Perry 23-15, Greinke 105-68, Tejeda 16-8, Wood, Bl 21-13, Soria 20-14, Meche 11-6, Chavez 28-15.
Groundouts-flyouts: Bonderman 8-7, Schlereth 0-0, Weinhardt 3-0, Perry 2-1, Greinke 7-4, Tejeda 0-0, Wood, Bl 2-0, Soria 2-0, Meche 2-0, Chavez 3-1.
Batters faced: Bonderman 32, Schlereth 2, Weinhardt 6, Perry 6, Greinke 26, Tejeda 3, Wood, Bl 6, Soria 3, Meche 4, Chavez 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Weinhardt 1-0, Tejeda 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Scott Barry. 1B: Dan Iassogna. 2B: Jerry Meals. 3B: Dale Scott.
Weather: 71 degrees, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, L to R.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media