Lady luck was not smiling on the home team at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon as the Detroit Tigers dropped their third straight game, all to the Kansas City Royals, to drop back to 1 1/2 games out of first place.
Of course, luck can be a way of giving a free pass to the stagnant offense. After two terrible starts by the alleged dual aces of the Detroit pitching staff, Drew Smyly pitched brilliantly and has nothing to show for it. Drew pitched into the eighth inning, allowing two runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
The Tigers collected just five hits on the afternoon and let journeyman KC starter Jeremy Guthrie mow down the lineup, allowing just one run and fanning nine batters in 6 2/3 innings. J.D. Martinez accounted for the only run of the afternoon, a solo homer to left field in the seventh inning.
The string of bat luck began in the first inning when a Alex Gordon earned a base hit and RBI with the help of the ball caroming off second base into right field to score the game’s first run. Later, Victor Martinez tried to beat the shift with a bunt along the third base line but, at the last moment, the ball went foul. J.D. Martinez then scorched a ball that would have scored a run, but Gordon made a dazzling catch to end the fourth inning and kept the score at 1-0 KC.
The new thorn in the Tigers’ side, the former Tiger Omar Infante, hit a solo shot to make it 2-0 in the fifth.
The Tigers put their first batter on base in the ninth inning when Miguel Cabrera notched a single, bringing V-Mart to the plate, but he popped up weakly to short. J.D. Martinez struck out, and Alex Avila flew out to deep left-center to end the threat and the game.
The Royals have won 10 straight games and the Tigers are nearly as close to third place (two games pending tonight’s Indians-Angels contest) as they are out of first place (1.5 games). Detroit will look to avoid a four-game home sweep when they send Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.44) to the mound to face Danny Duffy (4-5, 2.83) Thursday afternoon.