The top pitching prospect in the Royals farm system made his first start since he was sent down to Omaha in May and wow did he show that he does not want to ever return to the minors.
Daniel Lynch started the game about as well as any starter could with a seven-pitch, three pop out inning to get the Royals offense in the dugout.
On the mound for the Tigers was Tarik Skubal, another left hander from the 2018 MLB draft class.
Whit Merrifield started things off with a two-strike double to the left-center wall. Carlos Santana then battled to single to right-field, moving Merrifield to third base.
With two on and no outs, Skubal tried to sneak a high fastball past the all-star catcher and Salvy made him pay with a three-run jack over the fountain in left; his 23rd of the year.
The fun for the Royals wasn’t over yet, because the next batter, Jorge Soler, joined the party with a solo home run of his own to make it 4-0 KC before Skubal even recorded an out.
Back out there in the second, this time with a 4-0 lead, Lynch got two quick ground ball outs. However the next two batters, Grossman and W. Castro singled and doubled to put Lynch in a bind with runners at second and third with two outs. Lynch avoided damage when he jammed Zack Short to ground out to short to end the inning.
Great execution from Lynch all day working pitches in and out of the zone, keeping batters off balance.
The Royals extended their lead in the 3rd, thanks to a first pitch home run by Soler; his second of the day and 11th of the year.
Lynch went into cruise control with the large lead, in the third, fourth and fifth. In those three, he had 1-2-3 innings making it 10 consecutive batters being retired.
That streak was snapped in the 6th with a leadoff infield hit by Derek Hill. Akil Baddoo then followed that hit with one of his own, putting runners on first and second with no outs with Jonathon Schoop up to bat. A tremendous pitch sequence led to a 4-6-3 double play. A strikeout to Haase ended the inning and stranded Hill at third, keeping the shutout alive.
After a 1-2-3 7th inning from Lynch, Michael A. Taylor led off with a single up the middle. He was then moved to second on a Cam Gallagher walk. Jarrod Dyson finished the job by singling to score Taylor, extending the lead to 6-0.
Lynch back out for the 8th, got the leadoff batter out then Short singled to center to have one on with one out. Hill lined out to center and Lynch’s outing came to a conclusion with a ground out to second by Baddoo.
Essentially everything from Lynch was impressive today, but the two that should be highlighted is his low pitch count (95 pitches in 8 innings) and the other is his ability to battle in adversity. He had base runners throughout the day and didn’t allow a run. He also started many batters off with a 2-0, 3-0 count and batted back.
Lynch’s final line is 8 IP 0R, 5H, 2K and ZERO WALKS. Quite the outing for a first major league win.
The Tigers did get one run to break up the shutout in the top of the ninth off Ervin Santana but honestly, who cares.
Today was Daniel Lynch’s day and no late run to cut the lead from 6 to 5 is going to ruin that.