Royals looking for another strong start from Volquez
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Steven Moya put up deserving numbers with Triple-A Toledo to earn a promotion to the Detroit Tigers.
Moya was hitting .298 with 13 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 38 RBIs and 34 runs in 205 at-bats with the Mud Hens. His .571 slugging percentage, 13 home runs and 28 extra-base hits topped the International League, while his 117 total-bases ranked second.
Moya will likely be the Tigers primary right fielder for the next month to six weeks, but it's not how he wanted to get back to the majors. He was recalled Friday when J.D. Martinez went on the disabled list with a fractured right elbow. The injury occured in the second inning Thursday when Martinez hit the Kauffman Stadium wall in a 10-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
"It's an opportunity, but I really don't want someone to get hurt for me to go play," Moya said. "It's an opportunity, but I just want to do my best to help the team win and get us as close as I can to representing J.D."
Moya went 1 for 4 in the 10-3 loss Friday to the Royals. He was also robbed of a run-producing single in the seventh when second baseman Whit Merrifield made a sprawling grab of his smash grounder up the middle with two runners on base.
The Tigers are hopeful Moya can carry over what he was doing in the International League to the American League.
"He's the guy that is doing the best down there, quite frankly. Right field's his natural position and he's swung the bat well in Toledo. He's going to get some at-bats and hopefully he's going to take advantage of it -- for us and for himself," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Ausmus had no pep talk for Moye upon his arrival.
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"I just said, 'Welcome back,' and told him he was batting seventh," Ausmus said.
This four-game series continues Saturday and the Tigers know they will not receive any sympathy from other teams with Martinez's bat not in the lineup.
"J.D. is somebody we look to, to drive in runs and be one of the middle-of-the-lineup guys," Tigers ace Justin Verlander said. "He will be missed. But you can't dwell on it. Injuries are part of the game. If you allow yourself to go, 'Woe is me,' or, 'Oh, no, we're not going to win now that J.D. is out,' that's not the way it works. We have to find a way to win."
The Royals got another strong outing from right-hander Yordano Ventura to even the series at one each. Ventura did not allow a run and only six singles in 6 1/3 innings Friday night.
"He was completely within himself, no overthrowing," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was completely in control of his mechanics again. That's back-to-back starts, which is pretty encouraging."
Yost would like to see another impressive back-to-back start from right-hander Edinson Volquez, who threw seven scoreless innings Monday to defeat the Cleveland Indians.
Volquez is 2-4 with a 5.24 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers, but on April 21 he threw seven shutout innings and allowed five hits to top them 4-0.
The Tigers will start left-hander Matt Boyd, who is 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA in two career starts at Kauffman Stadium. He did beat the Royals in his Tigers' debut on Aug. 5, 2015, yielding just one run on seven hits while striking out two over seven innings.