Shields Dominates Detroit Tigers; Kansas City Royals Avoid Sweep with 3-0 Win


Sep 10, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher

James Shields

(33) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers dropped the final game of the 3 game series with the Kansas City Royals 3-0. Although they were unable to complete the sweep, the Tigers took 2 out of 3 from the Royals and gained a game in the AL Central standings.

Rick Porcello got the start for the Tigers and he got off to a very hot start by striking out 4 of the first 5 batters he faced, but struggled through the 3rd and 4th innings. Porcello made it through the 5th and 6th before being removed with 2 runners on and 2 outs in the 7th inning. There weren’t too many hard hit balls against Porcello tonight. The runs were scored on groundballs hit in the right spots (also known as the story of Rick Porcello’s career). Porcello’s final line was 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. What has been remarkable about Porcello’s season is the drop in walks as he had another start without giving up a walk. He has 34 walks for the entire season.

The problem for Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers was that James Shields was pitching for the Kansas City Royals. After allowing a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler in the 1st inning, Shields picked off Kinsler and retired the next 18 batters he faced. Shields’s final line was 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Much like Porcello, there were not many hard hit balls the entire game.

The Royals had the first threat in the game in the 3rd inning. Alcides Escobar hit an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop with one out. He then stole second and advanced the third base on the throw from Tigers’ catcher Alex Avila. Nori Aoki then hit a ground ball to Ian Kinsler who threw out Escobar at the plate. On replay, Escobar looked safe, but no challenge was made. The Tigers then retired Omar Infante to end the inning.

The Royals then struck first in the 4th. Josh Willingham hit a single to center field with one out. Eric Hosmer then hit a weak groundball to shortstop that Nick Castellanos tried to cut in front of Andrew Romine and make a play. Hosmer slid in head first to first base and beat Castellanos’s throw. I believe Romine should have charged the ball because he had the only chance to make that play. Salvador Perez then hit a ground ball through the hole between shortstop and third base to score Willingham from 2nd, giving the Royals the 1-0 lead. Mike Moustakas then flied out to right. Lorenzo Cain then extended the lead by hitting a single to center field scoring Hosmer from 3rd, giving the Royals the 2-0 lead.

The Tigers first and only threat came in the 7th inning off of James Shields. Shields had recorded 18 straight outs before a 1 out single by Torii Hunter. Shields then completely lost control to Miguel Cabrera and walked him. Victor Martinez then hit a fly ball to center field to put runners at the corners for J.D. Martinez who struck out on a changeup.

The Royals added a run in the 9th in Joakim Soria’s return from the DL. Cain led the inning off with a triple and Escobar drove him in with a sacrifice fly extending the Royals’ lead to 3-0.

The Detroit Tigers have an off day tomorrow before they start a weekend series against the Cleveland Indians when David Price takes on Carlos Carrasco. The Indians play a doubleheader Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. The Royals now starts a 4 game series with the Boston Red Sox.