Vinnie Pasquantino laced his first Major League hit, a home run, and Brad Keller tossed six shutout innings in a 3-1 Royals win over the Tigers in Detroit Friday night to open the series.
The Royals got the scoring going in the third inning off Michael Pineda when Whit Merrifield hit a one-out double. He stole third to tie Bobby Witt Jr. for the team lead with his 12th stolen base. Andrew Benintendi continued his steady hitting with an RBI single to make it 1-0 Royals.
But the Royals saved their fireworks for the fourth inning. Vinnie Pasquantino collected his first Major League hit, a laser beam that hit the top of the right field wall. It was initially ruled a single and he was thrown out at second, but home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled it a home run because it hit the yellow line at the top of the wall.
Hunter Dozier followed with a home run of his own to make it back-to-back shots, his eighth home run of the year to make it 3-0 Royals.
That’s all that Brad Keller would need as he cruised through the first six innings. Keller allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out five. He left the game in the seventh after walking Robbie Grossman and hitting Spencer Torkelson with a pitch. But Taylor Clarke got out of the jam unscathed to protect the three-run lead. Keller would allow just three runners to get past first base all night and threw 55 of his 89 pitches for strikes.
Detroit would get their only run of the night in the ninth off Scott Barlow on a sacrifice fly by Eric Haase. The Tigers would get the tying run on base, but Barlow slammed the door shut for his eleventh save.
The Royals improve to 28-47 and are now 2-2 against the Tigers this year. They continue the series in Detroit tomorrow at 3:10 with Brady Singer facing Beau Brieske.