Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
With what many would consider a light hitting line-up, missing the bats of both Nick Castellanos and Detroit’s current batting average leader, Rajai Davis, the Tigers’ offense did not struggle against the Kansas City Royals’ ace James Shields. With two runs scored in the third inning, and three scored in both the fourth and seventh innings, the Tigers knocked Royals’ pitching for 8 runs on 14 hits, including a single, two doubles and two RBI for Victor Martinez. J.D. Martinez also had a strong performance at the plate, with two doubles and two RBI. Martinez also scored a run when Alex Avila notched his first home run of the season. While Miguel Cabrera went one for five, his hit was a run scoring double in the third, and his final three outs were hard, well hit, deep flyouts. Every Tigers’ batter recorded a hit in tonight’s contest.
Though the Tigers’ bats were impressive, the pitching staff was even more so. Rick Porcello(W, 4-1, 3.66 ERA) started for Detroit and, after giving up a run off an Omar Infante triple and a sacrifice fly from Eric Hosmer in the first inning, was nearly flawless. The one other blemish on what was easily Porcello’s strongest start of the season was a solo home run by Billy Butler to lead off the fourth inning. Porcello took Butler’s first dinger of the season in stride though, and sat the next twelve consecutive Royals he faced. His final line was seven innings pitched, three hits, two runs, no walks, and five strike outs. Ian Krol and Evan Reed pitched the eighth and ninth innings resepctively, and did their part to keep Kansas City off the base paths, combining with Porcello to put out the final 18 Royals’ batters in a row.