The Royals offense continued to be listless with just five hits and one run in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Friday night. Brad Keller continued his terrific start with six shutout innings to run his scoreless streak to begin the year up to 12. But the Tigers got to him in the seventh with a double by Miguel Cabrera and a long home run by rookie Spencer Torkelson to put the Tigers on top for good.
The Royals did actually get on the board first, with a run in the fourth inning. With two outs, Salvador Perez singled and advanced to second when Harold Castro made an error on a grounder by Andrew Benintendi. Carlos Santana - who did hit a few balls right on the screws tonight - singled to right to score Salvy and put KC up 1-0.
The Royals did flash some leather tonight as well.
But the Royals were pretty dormant all night against the first lefty starter they’ve faced this season, Tarik Skubal. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, and didn’t walk a single hitter in 5 2⁄3 innings of work, while striking out seven. Salvy got to him with a double in the sixth, and Skubal left the game after retiring left-handed hitting Andrew Benintendi. But the Tigers bullpen retired nine of the ten hitters they faced, four by strikeout.
The game took just 2 hours and 18 minutes, the quickest a Royals nine-inning game has been played since last April 24, when they beat Detroit 2-1. The Royals have now lost five in a row since winning the first two games of the season. They have scored three or fewer runs in five of their seven games. They are hitting .200 as a team and averaging 3.1 runs per game. They’ll try to get the offense going tomorrow afternoon, when right-hander Matt Manning goes for the Tigers against lefty Kris Bubic at 3:10 CT.