According to The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved metric, the Kansas City Royals have saved 15 runs this season, ninth in Major League Baseball. The Detroit Tigers, on the other hand, rank 28th, with their defense costing them 24 runs.
Though the Tigers' defense or lack thereof contributed to a few of the Royals' runs, teams can get around the Royals' great defense by just hitting the ball out of the park, and that's just what the Tigers did. Detroit clubbed six home runs en route to a 10-4 drubbing of the Kansas City bullpen, breaking their nine-game home winning streak.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning by Royals starter Danny Duffy, the Royals immediately generated some offense (with a little help from their friends). After a Whit Merrifield single, Alcides Escobar hit a routine fly ball that skied between left and center field. Mike Aviles and Justin Upton were not communicating, and the catchable ball dropped between them but was ruled a double for Escobar. Eric Hosmer would groundout, scoring Merrifield. Then, Lorenzo Cain blooped a hustle double to right field, scoring Escobar. 2-0, Royals.
The Tigers defense would rear its head again in the second inning. Paulo Orlando poked a fly ball to right field, a difficult but playable ball near the wall. Martinez did not get it and slammed into the wall, gingerly tossing the ball into the infield and holding his arm. With no outs, Orlando was held by third base coach Mike Jirschele, though he could have scored on an inside-the-parker. It did not matter, as Brett Eibner, in his first game returning from the DL, pushed a soft line drive past Detroit starter Justin Verlander and the shallow infield. The score became 3-1, Royals.
That one Detroit run--as well as their first six, in fact, and seven of their 10 overall--was the product of a home run. Royals starter Danny Duffy was pretty solid yet again, with four strikeouts, two walks, and four hits allowed over five innings. Still, the powerful and right-handed heavy Tigers showed their strength against Duffy with three solo home runs by Victor Martinez (twice!) and Nick Castellanos. After Duffy's departure, Joakim Soria turned in a scoreless inning to keep the Tigers at three runs going into the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, though, history was made. Against Verlander, rookie Eibner clubbed his first big league home run, a no-doubter to center field.
Unfortunately, Eibner's grand dong did not matter to this game's result. In the seventh inning, Luke Hochevar replaced Joakim Soria. James McCann immediately clonked a homer to tie the game at 4-4. A few batters later, Jose Iglesias singled. The next batter, future hall-of-famer Miguel Cabrera worked a five-pitch plate appearance, smashing an opposite field knock to make it 6-4 Detroit.
Ned Yost decided to use his B Team from the bullpen after Hochevar got the runs, which did not go well. Peter Moylan--you know, the same 37 year-old Peter Moylan who has pitched 50.2 innings in the Majors over the past six seasons--did not fare well, giving up three runs and accruing no strikeouts. In the ninth inning, Chien-Ming Wang--you know, the same 36 year-old Chien-Ming Wang who hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2013 before this year--proceeded to give up another home run to V Mart, his third of the game.