Royals rely on Chen in middle tilt with Tigers

Veteran lefty Bruce Chen can reach double-digit wins for the third straight season - and fourth in his career - when the Kansas City Royals host the Detroit Tigers for the second test of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Chen, a Panama native who turned 35 in June, debuted in the majors in 1998 and won twice in four decisions with the Atlanta Braves.

He subsequently pitched for six teams and maxed out at seven wins in a season before finally breaking through with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, when he went 13-10 with a 3.83 earned run average in 34 appearances.

Chen was then winless in 2006 and 2007 and out of the majors in 2008 before returning with Kansas City for a single win in 17 games in 2009.

Since then, however, he's been a consistent winner, earning 12 victories in both 2010 and 2011 and getting to win No. 9 this year with a 9-4 defeat of the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 18.

In 15 career meetings with the Tigers, he's 4-5 with a 6.10 ERA.

Detroit counters with Venezuelan righty Anibal Sanchez, a midseason acquisition from Miami in a deal that involved five players and two draft picks.

The 28-year-old was 5-7 in 19 starts with the Marlins with a 3.94 ERA in 121 innings, and has since won two of five outings with the Tigers while posting a 6.33 ERA in 27 American League innings.

He picked up his second Detroit win in his last start on Aug. 22, allowing an earned run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 3-2 triumph over Toronto.

Sanchez has never faced the Royals.

On Tuesday, Mike Moustakas had three hits, including the go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning, as the Royals edged the Tigers, 9-8.

Moustakas finished with three RBI, while Billy Butler went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Alex Gordon added a pair of hits and drove in two runs for the Royals, who snapped a two-game skid. Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez also drove in runs.

Moustakas' go-ahead hit made a winner of Aaron Crow (3-1), who surrendered the game-tying home run to Jhonny Peralta in the top of the eighth inning. Greg Holland allowed the tying run to reach third in the top of the ninth, but escaped to record his eighth save of the season.

Delmon Young clubbed a two-run home run and Prince Fielder added a two-run double for the Tigers, who had their brief two-game winning streak snapped.

Brayan Villarreal (3-4) allowed a run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings behind starter Justin Verlander, who gave up eight runs on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

"Clearly I wasn't good enough," Verlander said. "I missed location a little bit. I feel like most of the balls they hit hard were in that first inning just because I missed location."

Detroit won seven of the first eight games between the teams in 2012, including a sweep of a three-game set at Comerica Park from July 6-8. Kansas City last won the season series in 2008.