Jonathan Sanchez toes the rubber on short rest this evening, as the Kansas City Royals try to avoid being swept in a three-game set by the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

Luke Hochevar was slated to start tonight's finale, but he will get an extra day to rest his sore ankle. So, it will be Sanchez, who failed to get out of the third inning of his last start on Saturday against Cleveland. Sanchez was battered for five runs and six hits in only 2 2/3 innings of that one, but escaped without a decision.

"A lot of times if you bring a guy back early it helps tighten his command up," Yost said. "We had a couple of different options. We could pitch Hoch on Wednesday or we could totally have him miss a start. Or bump Sanchez up to Wednesday, hopefully tighten his command up and give Hoch an extra day and a half before he has to start again."

Sanchez, who has pitched to an 8.22 ERA in two starts this season, lost his only other start to the Tigers, surrendering three runs and six hits in seven innings.

Detroit will hand the ball to righty Max Scherzer, who is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA. Scherzer lost on Friday in Chicago, as the White Sox reached him for three runs and five hits in six innings.

Scherzer is 4-4 lifetime versus the Royals with a 3.90 ERA in 10 starts.

On Tuesday, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder each hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Kansas City Royals, 3-1.

Ramon Santiago knocked in the other run for Detroit, while Octavio Dotel (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Jose Valverde shut the door in the ninth for his second save of the season.

Drew Smyly made his second career start and allowed an unearned run on seven hits and a walk for the Tigers, who earned their third straight win.

Bruce Chen (0-1) gave up two runs on six hits through seven-plus innings to take the loss. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk in the Royals' sixth consecutive loss.

"It's no fun going through it when you lose six in a row, your first five games at home when you had so much enthusiasm coming home," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's not fun to do that, but you can't panic."

The Tigers were 11-7 against the Royals last season.