After a long month looking up at the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers have drawn even in the standings with an exciting 4-2 victory on Tuesday night over the Royals.
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Joe Nathan pitched a nail-biting ninth inning, but for once he could hardly be blamed for the events on the field. With the Tigers nursing a 4-2 lead, Nori Aoki and former Tiger, turned Tigers-killer, Omar Infante each reached on infield base hits where they just beat the throw from Andrew Romine at short.
With two on, no one out, Nathan struck out Alex Gordon. Ned Yost brought in Jarrod Dyson to run at second. Dyson, who is 20 for 22 on steals of third base in his career was picked off by Nathan, who then nailed the game down with a strike out of Salvador Perez.
It was Detroit’s third straight win overall and they ran their record against Kansas City to 11-4 in head-to-head matchups this year.
Max Scherzer pitched very well tonight until running out of gas with one on, two out in the sixth inning. It was an important start for Max, who had been hit fairly hard recently, allowing three or more runs in four straight games. His final line was 6.2 innings pitched, seven hits, one run with six strikeouts and four walks.
It was a much better outing than Scherzer had in June when he surrendered a career-high 10 runs to the Royals.
The Tigers jumped out to the early lead in the first inning when J.D. Martinez hit a deep fly ball to right field that scored Torii Hunter from third. One inning later, Rajai Davis drilled a two-run shot to left to give Detroit the 3-0 lead. The Royals battled back in the fifth inning, the only trouble area for Scherzer on the night. Infante laced a single to right center to score Alcides Escobar to make it 3-1.
It did not take long for the Tigers to respond as the first batter in the bottom of the fifth, J.D. Mart hit a no-doubter to left field to push the score back to 4-1. It was Martinez’s second RBI of the game and his 20th homer. Once again–THANK YOU ASTROS!
One team will leave the series finale tomorrow with a one-game lead. Will it be Detroit or Kansas City?
The teams will conclude the Detroit portion of their season series tomorrow night as Rick Porcello (15-10, 3.30) looks to get back on track against the Royals’ ace James Shields (13-7, 3.23). Game time is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. and the Tigers will have Joakim Soria back in the bullpen after losing a few weeks to the disabled list.