A doubles barrage from the Royals offense and another strong performance from Brady Singer helped Kansas City avoid its first losing streak of the season in a 5-3 win Wednesday night over Detroit.
The win ensured a split series with the Tigers as the Royals head home for the first time this season.
Kansas City took an early lead in the first thanks to a Jorge Soler double and a Ryan O’Hearn two-out, shift-beating single to left-center field.
Brady Singer responded with an interesting first inning, walking the Tigers leadoff man Harold Castro in an eight pitch at-bat. He got a double play and looked to be on his way to a clean inning before Miguel Cabrera homered to right to tie the game at 1-1.
Alex Gordon doubled to lead off the next inning, his first extra-base hit of the season, and scored on a Franchy Cordero single to take back the lead at 2-1.
Singer had a very similar start to his debut, finishing up his night after five innings and 82 pitches thrown. His only other blemish being a Jonathan Schoop homer to tie the game at 2-2 in the 4th.
The Royals continued to get men on base, but struggled to bring them in. After having nine hits last night, they added nine more by the 7th, but were just 2-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.
Kansas City finally capitalized in the 7th. After Whit Merrifield was hit by a pitch with one out, Soler doubled for the second time, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.
While Salvador Perez would drive in Merrifield, it felt again like a missed opportunity as the Royals came out with just one run. And that left the game in the hands of the Kansas City bullpen. Through six games, those hands had been pretty capable hands, with the Royals bullpen being 9th in Major League Baseball in bullpen ERA.
After a clean 7th, Kansas City added to a narrow lead off the bat of an unlikely hero: Bubba Starling.
Starling entered tonight’s game having struck out in five of his nine at-bats, but responded with a pinch-hit double to put the Royals up 5-2.
The double was Kansas City’s 5th on the night. They entered the contest with nine total doubles on the season.
Cabrera’s second solo homer of the game cut the deficit to 5-3, setting the stage for Trevor Rosenthal’s first save opportunity as a Royal. An infield single from Cameron Maybin put the tying run on first with nobody out.
Equipped with a fastball that hit 100 MPH several times, however, he retired the final three batters to end the game. The win sets the stage for Kris Bubic’s big league debut tomorrow night at Kauffman.
Up Next: Kansas City Royals v. Chicago White Sox, Friday, July 31, 7:05 PM CDT, Kauffman Stadium. LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 3.38 ERA) v. Kris Bubic (0-0, -.-- ERA)