DETROIT -- It's not something that manager Ned Yost planned, as the Royals slated three lefties to start this weekend's series against the Tigers.
But as a team, Detroit is batting .275 against right-handers this season and .247 versus lefties. The average against righties is tied for second in the Majors, while the Tigers are ranked 18th against southpaws.
Sunday's Royals starter Everett Teaford said no matter what the numbers are against left-handers, the Tigers have the type of lineup that can do serious damage.
"We feel that it is a good matchup for us to start left-handers, but you still have to executive your pitches," Teaford said. "My game plan is to not get embarrassed, especially when you're going against guys like [Miguel] Cabrera and [Prince] Fielder. I'll have to minimize walks and other freebies and keep guys off the bases."
Royals' leadoff spot walk in park for Gordon
DETROIT -- Since Alex Gordon assumed the full-time leadoff role for the Royals on May 27, the left-hander was batting nearly .330 heading into Saturday's game against the Tigers.
But for the season, Gordon has also transitioned and evolved his game so that he is drawing more walks for a higher on-base percentage.
Following a slow start, Gordon's OBP is at .364 thanks in large part to 44 walks through 82 games. Gordon finished with 67 walks all of last year. That's exactly what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do -- find ways to get on base and set the table for the RBI guys in the middle of the lineup.
"My mindset right now is to get on base for those guys that are driving in runs behind me," said Gordon, who also speculated on why his walks may be higher this season. "It could be that or that at times [opponents] are pitching me a little different now.
"The biggest difference is that first at-bat of the game when you're trying to see a few extra pitches and being pretty selective. You're trying to make something happen to start the game off on a good note."
Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer said that Gordon has adjusted well to the leadoff spot, but that one of the challenges true for any player, who historically has hit not only leadoff but other positions in the lineup, is to treat every at-bat the same way.
"Alex has done a great job and he's a really good OBP guy for us," Seitzer said. "I think his mindset is that he needs to have good at-bats and get on base, whereas if he is batting in the three-, four- or five-hole, he feels like he needs to drive the ball well."
Manager Ned Yost says that he doesn't see Gordon as a long-term solution at the leadoff position. The skipper first started using the outfielder in that spot at times in 2011, when the Royals were struggling to find leadoff options.
"The reason we put him there is that we were struggling to score runs and he had the highest OBA on the team," Yost said. "I think [long term] Alex is more of a run producer."
Seitzer does like the different look that Gordon provides leading off in that he provides some pop to the lineup.
"With him up there, we have a guy who can do more damage and really drive the ball," Seitzer said.
Moose likes overall balance in Royals' lineup
DETROIT -- The Royals' offense has been humming at times in recent weeks and third baseman Mike Moustakas feels the lineup is as balanced and dangerous as it has been in his two seasons with the club.
Moustakas is helping to strike that balance with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs heading into Saturday's game, but there is a significant amount of confidence that the entire lineup is playing with at this point in the season.
"It's a good time to be coming to the clubhouse right now," Moustakas said. "We always have a lot of fun, but right now things are going well, and we're producing a lot of runs."
The Royals' productivity is not being lost on opposing teams.
"I think teams are aware of the talent that we have, not just with our hitting, but that we have some strong arms that really can get the job done," Moustakas said. "I think teams know there aren't any easy outs in our lineup or any weaknesses in the talent we have. It's a very deep team -- we have depth all over the roster."
Moustakas continued his recent surge by drilling a 410-foot line drive to straightaway center for a ground-rule double in Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Tigers.
One of the keys for Kansas City's offensive resurgence has been an increased level of experience up and down the lineup. Having catcher Salvador Perez back in the lineup has also helped, according to Moustakas. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer agrees.
"[Perez] has got a fundamentally sound swing," Seitzer said. "He has tremendous pitch recognition and power. I was impressed the first day I saw him swing [in Spring Training 2011] and he is able to make adjustments pretty quickly."
"All of our guys are really coming together," Moustakas said. "[Eric] Hosmer (batting .280 since July 1) is really swinging the bat as well now and Yuni [Yuniesky Betancourt] is doing all the things he does to make an impact. I think what is really impressive is the depth that we have and with the experience, we are learning how to be more productive."
And with the Royals having won three more games than they had to this point a year ago, the feeling around the clubhouse is that they can make a second-half run in the American League Central.
"To be honest, we feel like that we should have a few more wins and be closer to first," Moustakas said. "We feel like we've let a couple recently get away, but we know we're in the race."
Heading into Saturday's game, four Royals had at least 30 RBIs and three (Billy Butler with 49, Moustakas with 44 and Hosmer with 39) were bunched near the top.
Royals' trio ready for Futures Game action
DETROIT -- Kansas City is the only organization that will have at least three prospects on rosters for Sunday's Sirius XM Futures Game that will be played at Kauffman Stadium at 4 p.m. CT.
Outfielder Wil Myers and right-hander Jake Odorizzi of Triple-A Omaha will play for Hall of Famer and Royals great George Brett for the U.S. team. Class A Wilmington right-hander Yordano Ventura, a 21-year-old fireballer, will compete for the World team and manager Bernie Williams.
Myers has been among the leaders not just in the Minors, but among all professional baseball leagues this season in home runs with 27 between Double- and Triple-A. Myers is also hitting .327 with 72 RBIs.
The 22-year-old Odorizzi has also exceled this season with better than a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio for the year. Odorizzi is 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 92 strikeouts combined at Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 85 2/3 total innings.
Ventura, who turned 21 in June, has been blowing batters away in the Minors with 98 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings. The native of the Dominican Republic is 3-5 with a 3.30 ERA as a starter. The young right-hander has been particularly tough on left-handed batters with a 2.01 ERA and .195 batting average.
The Royals on Saturday claimed catcher Adam Moore off outright waivers from the Seattle Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha. With the addition of Moore, the Royals' 40-man roster stands at 39.
Moore, 28, played with Triple-A Tacoma this season, hitting .209 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 24 games. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitter appeared in 68 games in the Majors for the Mariners from 2009-11, batting .197 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. Moore played just two games in 2011 after tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee on April 7.
The Royals were batting .287 at Comerica Park as a team since 2010 heading into Saturday's game. That is the third-highest average at visiting ballparks for Kansas City over that span. Tops on the list is Rogers Centre in Toronto, where the Royals are hitting .298 following the four-game series split earlier this week.
Veteran lefty Bruce Chen entered Saturday's start needing one win to pass Juan Berenguer (68) for second on the all-time wins list among native players from Panama. Chen has already logged more innings that any other Panamanian player in the Majors.
Batting practice was held inside the dugout cages before Saturday's game instead of on the field with the afternoon temperatures at 92 degrees. The heat index was above 100 degrees for the third consecutive day at Comerica Park.
Mike Scott is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.