Fortunately, the Royals wound up landing more punches as the Kansas City offense rolled over the Tigers pitching staff in a 10-6 Thursday afternoon victory.
The Royals got things started with two first-inning runs on back-to-back singles by Lucas Duda and Jon Jay. Duda would finish his day with three hits and four RBI and it was only the start of a rough afternoon for Tigers starter Mike Fiers.
Royals starter Eric Skoglund didn’t fare any better. He was coming off of his best start of the season but was quickly back to his old tricks. The Tigers counterpunched on a two-run double from Jeimer Candelario in the 3rd and got a run back in the 4th after Salvador Perez put the Royals back in the lead with a two-run homer.
That made it a 4-3 game, but Fiers soon felt the wrath of an angry Alex Gordon. He came into today’s action with a 138 wRC+ since coming off the DL and stayed hot with a 422-foot tank to make it a 5-3 game. He added two more hits on his afternoon to hike his OPS up from .699 to .791. He is also hitting .303, a number he hasn’t reached this late in the season since 2013.
Skoglund’s struggles continued into the 5th, giving up a home run to Nicholas Castellanos to bring the lead back down to one. After back-to-back two-out walks, Ned Yost had seen enough.
Skoglund tied a season-high by giving up eight hits as well as handing out a season-high three walks. His replacement Scott Barlow surrendered a bloop single to Jose Iglesias to knot the game back up at 5-5, tacking on another run to Skoglund’s ledger.
The Royals, however, would retake the lead in the bottom half of the frame, thanks in part to a 441-foot nuclear bomb from Jorge Soler, and then deliver the knockout blow with a three-run 6th to put the Royals up 10-6.
The Royals got another strong effort from Kevin McCarthy and a rebound performance from Tim Hill before Kelvin Hererra would shut the door in the 9th without incident.
We even got a scoreless outing (one out) from Blaine Boyer!
They did get some late drama as Iglesias seemed to take a little swing at Sal with his bat following his game-ending strikeout. The Fun Police can be a dangerous job.
With the win, the Royals improve to 9-22 while the Tigers fall to 13-17.
Up Next: Royals v. Tigers, Friday, May 4, 2018, 7:15 P.M. CDT, Kauffman Stadium. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.38 ERA) v. RHP Ian Kennedy (1-3, 3.48 ERA)