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Pair of homers doom Royals in 5-4 loss to Detroit

Back-to-back games with blown leads.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping a one-run game on Tuesday night, the Royals copied it and lost Game 3 against the Tigers, 5-4.

It was a fast start for Kansas City in the top of the first. Following a lead-off double from Whit Merrifield, the Royals cashed in on an RBI-single by Maikel Franco. Taking a 1-0 lead into the home half, Danny Duffy toed the slab for his second start of the season. The left-hander settled into a groove early sitting down the first three hitters on strikes.

In the top of the second, Kansas City continued to pad its lead. Looking to overcome his struggles from last night, Adalberto Mondesi smoked a triple over Jacoby Jones’ head in center field to open the frame. Bubba Starling drove him home two batters later on a sacrifice fly to left field - making it 2-0.

After Duffy punched out two more in the bottom of the second, the Royals had the opportunity to blow the game open off Boyd. With Merrifield and Soler on first and second, Franco drove a grounder into a wide open right side to plate the third run of the game. Ryan McBroom piggybacked him and brought home Soler on a bloop single to left field. Though it appeared Boyd was on the ropes, Kansas City couldn’t push across anymore.

Duffy’s shutout came to an end in the bottom of the third. To kick off the inning, the Tigers smacked back-to-back hits to put runners at second and third with nobody out. However, Detroit only managed one run on a sacrifice fly from Jonathan Schoop.

The Tigers did most of their damage in the home half of the fifth. Up to that point, Duffy had surrendered just one run on one hit. But the Tigers took advantage of a walk and a double and cut the deficit in half on another sacrifice fly from Niko Goodrum. With a two-run lead and just one more out to go in the fifth, Duffy made his biggest mistake of the night. On a 92-mph fastball up in the zone, Schoop poked a two-run homer just over Merrifield’s glove in right field to tie the game.

Two innings later, the Tigers used the long ball to jump out in front for the first time on the night. Jones, who came to the plate 2-for-2, took an off-speed pitch from Ian Kennedy and placed it over the wall in right field for a go-ahead solo shot.

Over the final three innings, the Royals couldn’t muster anything against the Detroit bullpen. For the second consecutive night, Joe Jiménez slammed the door and handed Kansas City its fourth loss in six tries.

Brady Singer will get the ball tomorrow against Iván Nova. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CDT on FSKC.