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Tigers playing without Guillen

Tigers playing without Guillen

DETROIT -- No timetable for injured infielder Carlos Guillen has been set, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't sound upbeat about his progress on Friday.

Guillen has been out of the starting lineup since Tuesday with lower back spasms. He remains day-to-day, and his status for the remainder of this weekend's series against the Royals is in question.

"I don't think Carlos is doing that well," Leyland said. "I don't think he's doing bad, but I don't think he's doing well."

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Guillen was batting .286 with 10 home runs before the injury flared up and knocked him out. He missed three days earlier this month with a pinched nerve in his back.

Despite the recent injuries, Guillen's performance in August perhaps has been his best since April. Things might have gotten better for him, too, because Guillen has thrashed the Royals throughout his career, hitting at a .307 clip with a .377 on-base percentage and a .497 slugging percentage. He's hit more career home runs against the Royals than any other opponent.

Detroit's recent struggles almost perfectly coincided with Guillen's removal from the starting lineup. Until Friday's win, the Tigers had lost every game while Guillen was out, including a three-game sweep by the Indians to begin a 10-game homestand.

Leyland reminded the media that with Guillen's sort of injury there is no telling when it will heal.

"I learned a long time ago that every time you see that [injury], the next day they come in and they're fine," Leyland said. "He's still certainly stiff yet, so I just have to play it by ear."

Pitching matchup
DET: LHP Kenny Rogers (9-11, 5.09 ERA)
Trade rumors could be circulating around Rogers with the deadline for postseason eligibility on Sunday and contract bonuses for innings coming up, but the 43-year-old's focus remains on the mound. He had a frustrating outing last Sunday at Kansas City, where the Royals hit him around for six earned runs in as many innings with help from some defensive miscues. It was his fifth loss in his last six outings, and it raised his second-half ERA to 6.41. He's 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA in four meetings with the Royals this season.

KC: RHP Brandon Duckworth (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
Duckworth was brought up to start against the Tigers last Sunday because an injury put Luke Hochevar on the disabled list. Duckworth was a little shaky for two innings, giving up three runs, but he settled down and lasted five innings. He earned credit for the 7-3 victory, which snapped the team's seven-game skid. Duckworth had a 5-11 record and a 4.75 ERA for Triple-A Omaha, where he'd spent all season. But he has plenty of Major League experience. He is 21-31 in 128 career big league games, including 78 starts.

Tidbits
When asked Friday who the Tigers are considering calling up when rosters expand to 40 players on Monday, Leyland was reluctant to provide any details. Not all the decisions have been finalized, and Leyland didn't want to speculate. "That's another issue that has not been decided," Leyland said. "There's been names tossed around, but no definite decisions. There have been a couple definite decisions that will be coming up that I won't disclose right now." ... Infielder Michael Hollimon will be the Tigers' seventh and final invitee to the Arizona Fall League, player development director Glenn Ezell said. Hollimon made his Major League debut with Detroit earlier this summer, but he has struggled down the stretch at Triple-A Toledo. He'll be used primarily at second base. ... The Tigers' game against the White Sox on Sunday Sept. 14 at U.S. Cellular Field has been added to the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball schedule. First pitch now is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD

On radio
• 97.1FM/1270AM

Up next
• Sunday: Tigers (Armando Galarraga, 12-4, 3.20) vs. Royals (Gil Meche, 10-10, 4.13), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Tigers (Justin Verlander, 10-14, 4.53) vs. Yankees (Sidney Ponson, 7-5, 4.80), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Tigers (Chris Lambert, 0-1, 6.75) vs. Angels (Joe Saunders, 14-7, 3.67), 7:05 p.m. ET

David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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