After sweeping the one of the top contenders from the National League in the Los Angeles Dodgers in a two game series at C0merica Park on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers traveled to Kansas City to take on the Royals, and in game one of the four-game series, Detroit put on a hitting display.
The Tigers (51-37) totaled 19 hits off four different Royals’ pitchers–including eight off starter Jeremy Guthrie–and dominated an important game in their division, defeating the Kansas City on the road, 16-4.
Seven different Tigers recorded multi-hit games, but the 3-4-5 of Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Torii Hunter carried the Tigers’ offense. The middle of the order went 7-for-12 (8-for-13 if you want to count Rajai Davis’ double after he pinch ran for Cabrera once the game was out of hand) with a homer, three doubles and nine RBI. Hunter tallied a team-high three hits on Thursday night, and Cabrera and Martinez each picked up two hits.
Everyone was in on the act. Eugenio Suarez roped two doubles. Don Kelly picked up two hits for the second game (on consecutive days as well) in a row. Nick Castellanos picked up two more hits and bumped his batting average up to .271. Every Tigers’ batter picked up hits against the Royals, including subsitiion players, Davis and Andrew Romine.
The Tigers eight-run rally in the top of the fifth inning were half of their runs on Thursday, and it solidified the game for the visitors. Hunter led off with a solo shot to left field off Guthrie. A Castellanos single followed by an Alex Avila double would set the table for Suarez to send a double to centerfield to plat two more runs that inning.
The Royals would use three different pitchers that inning, but that didn’t hinder the Tigers whatsoever, as they put up six more runs that inning.
Drew Smyly got the start of the Tigers in the series opener and was cruising through six innings before allowing two more runs in the seventh. The left-hander was pulled after Eric Hosmer’s two-run home run made it 15-4.
The Tigers will face the same Royals team on Friday, with Anibal Sanchez (5-3, 3.18) on the bump for Detroit. Sanchez will face Royals left-hander Danny Duffy (5-8, 2.86 ERA) in Kansas City. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET