Aaron Crow surrendered a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth to Miguel Cabrera on Saturday night as the Royals fell 6-5 to the Detroit Tigers.
The reliever fell behind Cabrera, and threw the third baseman a 3-1 fastball that caught too much of the plate. Cabrera lifted the pitch the opposite way, sending it over the rightfield wall to win the game.
The game itself was quite entertaining. Detroit took leads in the first, fourth and seventh innings, but Kansas City battled back three separate times to tie the game. Unfortunately, the Royals fell just short, evening the series at 2-2.
Wade Davis looked terrible against the Tigers, surrendering four runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. The starter did not have his best stuff, issuing two walks while only forcing one strikeout. Davis continues to struggle with balls in play, as nearly all of Detroit's hits against the right-hander were crushed, giving the defense no chance to bail him out.
With Danny Duffy tossing six shutout innings Friday night, the calls to replace Davis in the rotation will only grow louder. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star doesn't believe Big Trade Wade's job is in any sort of jeopardy, so I'm not expecting a change.
Will Smith kept the Royals in the game with 2 2/3 innings of solid relief, his only blemish a solo home run to Prince Fielder. Kelvin Herrera replaced Smith with 1 2/3 shutout innings before Crow surrendered the homer to the first batter he faced.
The offense turned in a solid effort, with every Royals starter collecting at least one hit. The bottom five hitters in the lineup player particularly well, as all five had two-hit performances.
Kansas City scored their first two runs in the third. Eric Hosmer drew a walk, then three straight singles by Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez plated a pair of runs.
Alcides Escobar plated Chris Getz with a double in the fourth, although not without some help from the umpire. Getz advanced from first-to-third when the home plate umpire ruled a foul tip a passed ball and Brayan Pena did not chase after the ball. Jim Leyland and Pena were eventually tossed from the game.
Perez crushed a solo homer in the seventh of Drew Smyly to even the score at 4-4. The Royals then had a chance to blow the game open in the eighth, but only managed one run.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the inning with a single, stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error from Bryan Holaday. Getz singled in Bonifacio, then advanced to third on an Escobar single. Escobar swiped second base, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs.
Jose Veras managed to strike out David Lough, then issued an intentional walk to Hosmer to load the bases. That brought Butler to the plate, but the designated hitter lined out to Cabrera for the second out of the inning. Gordon hit a sharp grounder to Fielder for the final out of the inning, racking the first baseman in the process.
The Royals plan to win the division by racking all of the Tigers' infielders is becoming increasingly evident.
It was definitely a tough loss, especially with the Royals chance to win the game in the eighth. Davis, however, is the biggest culprit for the lose, so please direct your anger accordingly.
The two teams wrap up the series Sunday afternoon at Comerica. Bruce Chen will face off against Max Scherzer.