Wade Davis, Mike Moustakas struggle in Royals loss to Tigers

Leon Halip

Not the finest effort from a Royals starter this season.

The Kansas City Royals lost the first game of the series against the Detroit Tigers, losing 7-5 in Comerica Park.

The Tigers were the first to score, as Omar Infante drove in Jhonny Peralta with a two-out single in the bottom of the second.

The Royals responded with a four-run inning in the top of the third. The first five hitters of the innings collected hits off Scherzer; Salvador Perez, Chris Getz, Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler hit singles while Alex Gordon hit a double. Not all of the hits were particular well struck, but Detroit’s lack of defense range was evident in the inning, especially on the Getz and Gordon hits. Eric Hosmer hit a deep sacrifice fly to drive in Escobar for the final run of the inning before Lorenzo Cain grounded into a double-play.

David proceeded to struggle with the heart of the Tigers order. Miguel Cabrera smacked a deep one-out double, and was followed by a Prince Fielder walk. Victor Martinez then cracked a double, driving in Cabrera.

Andy Dirks followed Martinez with a shallow fly-out to Gordon for the second out of the third. Peralta then hit a two-out single to right field, driving in Fielder from third. Martinez attempted to score from second, but the ball was hit shallow and Jeff Francoeur unleashed his man-cannon. The throw was so far ahead of Martinez that the Tigers’ designated hitter did not even attempt to step on home plate.

The wheels fell of for Davis and the Royals in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Avila led off the inning with a walk, and Infante followed him with a single.

Austin Jackson followed Infante with a groundball to Mike Moustakas. Moose bobbled the groundball, but recovered in time to tag-out Avila. Torii Hunter then hit a second straight groundball to Moustakas, but the third baseman whiffed the ball this time, pulling up his glove too early and letting the ball shoot between his legs. Infante scored on the error, and Jackson advanced to third.

Cabrera proceeded to hit a fly-ball to centerfield, deep enough to score Jackson and put the Tigers ahead 5-4. Fielder then worked his second straight walk, and Martinez followed him with a single, pushing Hunter across the plate.

Ned Yost pulled Davis after the Martinez single for Luis Mendoza. Mendoza walked Dirks to load the bases, sending Peralta to the plate as the ninth hitter of the inning. Peralta also drew a walk against Mendoza, forcing Fielder home from third. Avila then hit a well-struck ball, but it was right at Gordon, mercifully bringing an end to the fourth inning with Detroit leading 7-4.

The Royals offense appeared to learn something watching all of the Tigers hitters earn free passes, as Getz and Gordon led the top of the fifth with two walks. Alcides Escobar then hit a weak grounder up the middle, but the Tigers defense made their presence known again. Peralta fielded the ball, but was too far away to tag Gordon or second base. He threw it to first, but Esocbar beat the throw to load the bases.

With the bases loaded and no out, Butler hit a soft groundball in between the plate and the mound. Scherzer charged and tossed the ball to Avila, barely beating Chris Getz to the plate for a force-out.

Hosmer followed Butler with a great at-bat. He fell behind Scherzer, but fouled off multiple tough pitches and ended up earning a walk, driving in Gordon. Cain’s at-bat looked similar to Hosmer’s, but the outfielder struck out looking on a borderline 3-2 fastball for the second out of the inning. Moustakas looked less than stellar during his at-bat, striking out to end the inning.

Both teams threatened to score in later innings, but neither team drove in any more runs. Detroit put two runners on against Mendoza, while the Royals had two runners on against Al Alburquerque.

J.C. Gutierrez pitched effectively for two innings, which is something. So did Tigers closer Jose Valverde, who tossed a perfect ninth to earn the save for the Detroit Tigers.

Davis was tagged with the loss. He tossed 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on eight hits. The right-handed struck out two and walked four.

Escobar and Perez both had multi-hit games, while Hosmer hit a double and drew two walks.

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