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Bitter baserunners betrayed by batters, boys in blue beaten 2-1

The offense couldn’t come up with the big hit

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Do you like offense? If so, this was not the game for you. Kansas City managed plenty of baserunners but couldn’t bring anybody home, while Detroit did nothing after the first inning but still managed to eke out a 2-1 victory.

Matt Manning was scheduled to start for Detroit, but he was a late scratch after experiencing arm tightness in the bullpen. Thus Detroit opted for a bullpen game tonight, sending out Will Vest to start things out. MJ Melendez rudely welcomed him with his 18th homer of the year. Would you like an arbitrary stat? How’s this: MJ Melendez is the first in Royals history with at least 18 homers and 62 walks in their rookie season. The Royals had a chance for more when Vinnie Pasquantino and Edward Olivares smacked consecutive singles, but Vest managed to escape the inning with no further damage.

Detroit responded in the bottom of the frame. After Lynch struck out Riley Greene and Javier Báez to start the inning, Eric Haase smoked a single and Miguel Cabera gave Detroit a 2-1 lead with a round-tripper. It was only Miggy’s fifth homer of the season, which feels like a typo.

After the first, pitching and defense took over as Lynch and Detroit’s bullpen traded zeroes. Lynch was doing his usual thing, getting into a lot of long at-bats to run up his pitch count. However, he was effective, not allowing any more than those first two runs as he managed to gut out six innings. This was just the fourth time in 26 starts that he’s completed the sixth inning and his first since August 17. The Tigers bullpen, meanwhile, gave up a lot of traffic. Here were the base-out states that the Royals managed in each inning after the first:

  • 2nd: Runner on 1st, 1 out
  • 3rd: Retired in order
  • 4th: Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 out
  • 5th: Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 out
  • 6th: Bases loaded, 2 out
  • 7th: Bases loaded, 1 out
  • 8th: Runner on 1st, 0 out
  • 9th: Retired in order

The Royals failed to capitalize on any of those situations. Amir Garrett and Carlos Hernández tossed scoreless innings out of the bullpen following Lynch, but it was for naught as Detroit prevailed 2-1.

Some nuggets:

  • This was a tale of missed opportunities for the Royals. After Melendez’s leadoff homer, they managed nine hits and six walks. Each of those baserunners were stranded.
  • Kyle Isbel was caught stealing twice. He is now 9-14 on stolen bases this season.
  • The Royals have won just 24 road games this season, easily the fewest in the American League.
  • The Tigers had multiple runners on base in just two of eight innings in this game.

The loss drops Kansas City to 62-92. They are now just a half game ahead of Detroit in the division standings. 100 losses remains in play. Detroit has now secured this series, but the season series will be on the line in tomorrow afternoon’s game.

Daniel Lynch - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Will Vest - 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

MJ Melendez - 1-3, HR, RBI, R, 2 BB

Miguel Cabrera - 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R