Kris Bubic made his 29th Major League start on Sunday and it was the best of his young career. The 24-year old lefty tossed seven shutout innings in a 2-1 win over the Tigers to take the series. It was the first time in his MLB career he had tossed as many as seven shutout innings in a start.
Whit Merrifield got the game started with a double off Tigers starter Wily Peralta, one of his three hits on the day. Nicky Lopez reached on a bunt single that moved Whit to third, and after a Salvador Perez strikeout, Andrew Benintendi plated Whit home with an RBI single. The Royals looked poised for a big inning after Carlos Santana walked to load the bases, but Adalberto Mondesi hit into a force out at home and Hunter Dozier struck out to end the threat, with the Royals up 1-0.
The Royals had a runner in scoring position in the second, and loaded the bases in the third, but couldn’t put any runner across the plate. Cam Gallagher led off the fourth with a double and moved to third on a Whit Merrifield single. Whit now has 16 three-hit games this season. Nicky Lopez drove him home with a deep fly out to center to make it 2-0 Royals.
Meanwhile, Kris Bubic was shoving. He didn’t give up a hit until the fourth, an infield single by Isaac Paredes. The Tigers never mounted an offensive threat against Bubic, and he exited after 95 pitches and seven shutout innings with six strikeouts, one walk, and just two hits allowed.
The Tigers made the biggest threat in the ninth off Scott Barlow. Miguel Cabrera hit a comebacker off Barlow’s glove for an infield single to lead off. With one out, Eric Haase drew a walk. Paredes doubled home pinch-runner Zack Short to put Detroit on the board. Barlow stuck out Niko Goodrum, and after an intentional walk to Robbie Grossman to load the bases, he struck out pinch-hitter Harold Castro to preserve the victory.
The Royals take the series and improve to 71-84 heading into the last week of the season. They will travel to Cleveland tomorrow for a one-game makeup, before heading home to take on the Indians at Kauffman Stadium in a three-game set to begin on Tuesday.