Kansas City 10, Detroit 5 (box)
Once again, the Tigers were unable to solve Kansas City right hander Luke Hochevar. For the second time this season, Hochevar held down the Detroit Tigers offense, allowing just two earned runs in his six solid innings of work today. This after a 7.2 inning effort last week in Kansas City where he held Detroit scoreless.
Hochevar (1-0) was touched for two runs in the third, but neither should have scored. With the bases loaded an one out, Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez rolled a ground ball to third baseman Alberto Callaspo who flipped it to second to start what should have been an inning-ending double play. But Chris Getz’ throw to first was low and Billy Butler was unable to dig it out. The Tigers got two runs on that play, the second of which was unearned. In the fourth, Carlos Guillen lofted a solo homer to right to account for the other Tigers run.
Max Scherzer was Hochevar’s opponent again today, but was largely let down by his defense and his elevated pitch count. After allowing two runs to the Royals in the fourth to tie the score, Scherzer (0-1) was locked up in a long at bat with Jose Guillen, their second lengthy battle of the game. Guillen popped up a ball into foul territory near first base, but Miguel Cabrera couldn’t squeeze it and Guillen took advantage of the new life with a towering home run to left. Just like that, the Royals had a 4-2 lead.
The Royals got their third unearned run of the game the next inning when Scherzer threw wildly to first base on a Scott Podsednik bunt. David DeJesus came around from second to score and Podsednik wound up at third.
The Tigers had one last shot to keep things close in the eighth when the first two batters reached against Kyle Farnsworth. The next two hitters failed to advance the runners and Ramon Santiago popped up with the bases loaded to end the threat.
If nothing else, hopefully the Tigers learned that they can’t just show up and expect to win games against major league teams. After coming from behind in four of their five wins, including the wild finish yesterday, perhaps the Tigers thought this Royals team would hand them another one. It doesn’t work that way usually. Kansas City punished Detroit every time the Tigers would leave a play unmade, which was far too often.
- Brandon Inge– Inge made a sparkling diving catch to start a double play in the third, then went on to double twice, driving in a pair of runs.
- Jose Guillen– What’s gotten into this guy? After homering twice in Sunday’s game against Boston, Guillen belted another long ball today as part of a two hit performance. He battled Scherzer to at bats of 12 and 10 pitches in his first two trips to the plate.
- John Parrish– The Royals bullpen has been terrible so far, but Parrish turned in two perfect innings after taking over for Hochevar with a runner on in the sixth and the Tigers having cut the lead to three.
- Brad Thomas– Thomas retired the first two hitters of the sixth but then issued back-to-back walks to the eight and nine batters. He then allowed consecutive singles to DeJesus and Podsednik, two lefties, to push the KC lead to 8-3. Royals left handed batters went 2 for 3 with two walks against the lefty Thomas, who allowed four earned on three hits and three walks in 2.1 innings of work.
- Defense– The Tigers committed four errors, one each by Cabrera, Scherzer, Ryan Raburn, and Alex Avila, leading to four unearned runs by the Royals. Just a bad day at the park all around.
What’s on tap?
The Tigers will try to even the series tomorrow afternoon when Dontrelle Willis faces off with Brain Bannister. Both men pitched well last week when they matched up in Kansas City. The Tigers loss today was their first in six matinee games this season. They had better pick up their effort for tomorrow or this homestand will quickly turn sour.