Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 9/17/14
After entering the All-Star break on a low note, the Kansas City Royals are likely feeling much better about themselves to start the season's second half.Back-to-back wins over the division-leading Detroit Tigers will do that for a team.Kansas City looks to complete the sweep on Sunday as it hosts Detroit.The Royals (45-49) had lost five in a row prior to the break while being outscored 30-12. One run was good enough for a victory in Friday's opener, then they tagged Justin Verlander for eight hits in 5 23 innings Saturday in a 6-5 victory, the team's fifth win in its last six games versus Detroit.Mike Moustakas was 3 for 4 with a go-ahead homer in the fifth inning off Verlander."There's a great pitcher on the mound and he doesn't make too many mistakes," said Moustakas, who entered in a 3-for-20 slump. "I got a pitch I could handle and didn't miss it."Another victory would give the Royals their first three-game sweep of a team with a record over .500 while bringing them within five games of the first-place Tigers (52-44).James Shields (4-6, 3.21 ERA) will also try to begin the second half in strong fashion after sputtering prior to the break. The right-hander went 2-0 over his last five starts despite a 5.02 ERA.Perhaps more concerning is Shields' sudden inability to eat up innings. He's lasted seven innings just once in his last six outings after going at least seven 10 times in his first 14 starts. Shields has also been less efficient, needing 18.6 pitches per inning compared to 15.3 previously.He yielded three runs, seven hits and three walks over five innings of a 6-4 loss at Cleveland last Sunday, throwing 113 pitches."I don't feel like I struggled," said Shields, who came away without a decision in two starts versus Detroit earlier this year, giving up five runs over 15 innings. "I threw some really good pitches."Doug Fister (7-5, 4.02) will try to carry some momentum over from a solid outing prior to the break as he held Texas to two runs over six innings in a 7-2 win July 12. He had given up six runs in three of his previous four starts after allowing no more than five all season.Despite holding the Royals to three runs in eight innings, Fister was the loser in a 3-2 final in Kansas City on June 10, falling to 1-3 in four career starts at Kauffman Stadium.Both Shields and Fister saw better results in the second half last year. Shields posted a 2.81 post-break ERA compared to a 4.17 mark before the Midsummer Classic, while Fister followed a 4.75 pre-break ERA with a 2.67 figure.The Tigers are without a home run in four of their last five contests with Miguel Cabrera going 3 for 14 and Prince Fielder 5 for 19. Cabrera and fellow All-Star Jhonny Peralta have hit Shields hard, going 14 for 32 and 10 for 26, respectively, but are a combined 1 for 10 against him this season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.