Detroit Tigers: Offense sputters again, Royals win, 4-1
By Dave Holcomb
The bullpen has become an obvious scapegoat in recent years among Detroit Tigers fans. Detroit’s latest problem, however, is not being able to give that bullpen a lead.
Again, the Tigers scored just one run in a game versus the Royals, failing to record a hit until the eighth inning as Kansas City beat Detroit, 4-1.
Royals spot starter Chris Young pitch five innings and held the Tigers without a hit. Relief pitcher Ryan Madson continued the no-hitter with two perfect innings in the sixth and seventh frames.
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It is absolutely ridiculous to see Young, a 35-year-old seasoned veteran, who only made Friday’s start because of the suspensions in the Kansas City rotation, hold a lineup with the Tigers caliber without a hit.
Another seasoned-veteran, Twins starter Mike Pelfry, held the Tigers to just two runs in a, 3-2, loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
Young did allow three bases runner via walks, but the Tigers failed to capitalize.
Finally, in the eighth against Kelvin Herrera, Detroit broke through with two straight hits from third baseman Nick Castellanos and shortstop Jose Iglesias. Before the hits, catcher Alex Avila led off the frame with a walk, so with no outs, the tying run came to the plate in center fielder Anthony Gose.
Gose grounded out to the pitcher, but Avila was able to score.
That brought first baseman Miguel Cabrera to the plate as the tying run. Cabrera hit a couple fly balls in previous at-bats that died at the warning track and was obviously the exact man Tigers fans wanted hitting in that situation.
Cabrera battled, fouling off six pitches, but he struck out swinging.
Designated hitter Victor Martinez flew out to left field to end the inning.
The Tigers brought the tying run to the plate with one out again in the ninth, but Castellanos struck out and Iglesias grounded out to end the game.
Detroit starter Kyle Lobstein wasn’t great, but he is hardly to blame for the subpar effort in Kansas City on Friday. After allowing four runs in the first three innings, Lobstein settled down to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings before reliever Joba Chamberlain replaced him.
Lobstein also had to work around two throwing errors committed by Gose. In the first inning, Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a single up the middle, and Gose completely airmailed the throw to home. It went over Avila’s head, Lobstein wasn’t backing up, and Perez advanced all the way to third.
Luckily, Perez didn’t score.
In the third inning, Gose made the same mistake, missing on a throw to the plate, which allowed another base to a Royals runner.
Kansas City already steals so many bases; in order to beat them, teams can’t then cough up bases like the Tigers did on Friday.
Lobstein finished with 7 1/3 innings pitched, allowing four runs on 10 hits. Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and Morales all had multiple hits for Kansas City.
The best the Tigers can do now is split with the Royals. In order to do that, Detroit must win on Saturday and Sunday.
Since its offense surge in the first week of the season, Detroit has averaged 3.4 runs per game in the last 18 contests.
Perhaps these first two performances in Kauffman Stadium will motivate manager Brad Ausmus to shake up the lineup a bit on Saturday. If he doesn’t, the MCB staff is probably going to start using Ausmus as a scapegoat as well.
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