Bobby Witt Jr. had a pair of hits, including the game-winning double, to go with a dazzling defensive play in a 3-2 win over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
The Royals had a runner in scoring position in each of the first three frames but couldn’t cash any in for a run against Tigers starter Matt Manning. They finally broke through in the fourth with a pair of runs with a Nicky Lopez single with the bases loaded, followed by a bases-loaded walk to MJ Melendez to force home a run.
Max Castillo pitched well, but he gave the lead right back up in the bottom of the inning. Javier Báez led off with a single and Harold Castro drilled a two-run home run to tie the game. Castillo would make it through 4 2⁄3 innings and 95 pitches allowing five hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
The Royals had an opportunity to take the lead in the seventh off reliever Andrew Chafin. With two outs, Nick Pratto walked and Michael Taylor singled. Chafin hit Michael Massey (oddly the second time Massey was hit today, and seventh time in the last 11 games) to load the bases. But Hunter Dozier flied out to end the threat.
The Royals did take the lead in the eighth off Tigers closer Gregory Soto. Nicky Lopez drew a one-out walk, and MJ Melendez followed with a double. But Lopez was out by a few feet at home plate trying to score on the play, the 20th time this year the Royals have made an out at home, tied for tops in baseball. Bobby Witt Jr. picked the team up with an RBI double to give them a 3-2 lead. Oh and he also made this play earlier in the game.
Scott Barlow closed things out, giving Royals relievers a combined 4 1⁄3 scoreless innings of work. Witt finished with a pair of hits and leads all rookies and Royals hitters with 70 RBI. Royals hitters drew six walks and Royals pitchers issued just three free passes. The Royals win their first series since August 9-11 against the White Sox and improve to 55-80. They’ll head back home for a six-game homestand beginning tomorrow evening against the Cleveland Guardians.