The Detroit Tigers came into a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals up a half game up on their rivals. Four days later they leave Kansas City with a split after dropping the first two contests. Sunday the Tigers got out to a large lead and then weathered a flurry of scoring by the Royals late to win 6-4.
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The Tigers’ bat finally came alive against Jeremy Guthrie after scoring just four runs through the first three games. They were aided by an error from right fielder Paulo Orlando while nursing a 1-0 lead from a second inning run, Alex Avila notched his second hit of the game scoring Victor Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez. That key hit gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
The next inning, Miguel Cabrera put the exclamation point on the series by lacing a two-run shot to make it 5-0 in the top of the fifth.
Meanwhile Anibal Sanchez was very sharp early in this one, retiring the first 15 batters in order before Orlando led off the bottom of the sixth with a single.
The Royals would put up a pair of runs each in the seventh and eighth inning, with Sanchez departing with one out in the seventh. Tom Gorzelanny allowed the fourth and final KC run.
Joakim Soria, continued to be Mr. 1-2-3, retiring his former team in order.
Sanchez had a nice day, allowing three runs in 7.1 innings, striking out four and issuing one free pass.
Notables among the hitters were Cespedes and Avila, who each had two hits, and Cabrera, who had three hits, including the key two-run shot in the fifth inning.
It was not all good news for the Tigers though as shortstop Jose Iglesias left in the sixth inning with tightness in his left groin. He had been 1-for-2 in the game and seemingly tweaked something will making a nifty play to throw out Salvador Perez by a step.
He is listed as day-to-day and seemingly will benefit from Monday’s offday.
Speaking of that offday, the Tigers had played 17 games straight since their last day off back on April 15. They have gone a respectable 9-8 during that stretch.
The Tigers have to be happy with the way they bounced back against the Royals, a team they dominated last year, especially at Kauffman Stadium, but dropped the first two games. Had a team won three of the four games, it might have established an early statement, instead we have learned pretty much nothing.
Detroit has one more stop on their 10-game road trip with three games in Chicago to face the division rival White Sox beginning Tuesday. The Tigers have not announced their starting pitcher yet, though it is Shane Greene‘s turn through the rotation. Jeff Samardzija will go for Chicago. First pitch is set for 8:10.