Cheslor Cuthbert singled in the bottom of the 13th with the bases loaded to score pinch-runner Lorenzo Cain in a walk-off 2-1 victory over the Tigers. The Royals take three out of four from the rival Tigers in the series and have won eight of nine since their eight-game losing streak.
The game went to extras in large part due to the yeoman's effort by Chris Young, affectionately referred to by Royals fans as "Stilt Dad" for his fatherly appearance. Fittingly, Young was given the starting nod on Father's Day, so he slipped off his Rockports and jean shorts, put on his commemorative Father's Day Royals uniform to raise awareness for prostate cancer, and went to work on the Tigers. The lanky right-hander went six strong innings, giving up just a third inning solo home run to Steven Moya, and striking out seven. Young, whose own father passed away last September, tied for his longest outing of the year. He allowed just three total hits and a walk in the start, recording eight fly ball outs in the process.
Jordan Zimmermann, the big free agent signing for the Tigers, was sharp as well. He showed off the brilliant command that has led him to be one of the better pitchers in the league this year, throwing 70 of his 93 pitches for strikes without walking a single hitter. The Royals chipped away for their only run off him when Kendrys Morales singled to right in the bottom of the fifth, followed by a double by Paulo Orlando. The Tigers played the infield back, so Brett Eibner's ground ball to short allowed Morales to score from third to tie the game at 1-1.
From then on, neither managed much offense at all, with each team collecting just a single hit from the sixth inning through the twelfth. In the bottom of the twelfth, Salvador Perez opened the inning with a single off reliever Kyle Ryan. He was replaced by pinch-runner and hermanito Lorenzo Cain, who advanced to second on an error by Miguel Cabrera on a pickoff attempt. Kendrys Morales was intentionally walked, and after a sacrifice bunt by Paulo Orlando, Brett Eibner was given an intentional walk as well to load the bases for a force play at home, setting up Cuthbert's game-winning single.
Ches finishes it:https://t.co/dVayLu5o0I— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) June 19, 2016
The Royals got strong relief efforts from Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Peter Moylan, and Chien-Ming Wang, who combined for seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits. The Royals improve to 38-31, and are a half-game back of Cleveland for first place. The team will take an off day tomorrow before heading to New York for a World Series re-match against the New York Mets.