Detroit hit a couple big homers and Kansas City could not sustain a rally as the Tigers won the rubber match of this three game set 6-4.
The start of the game got pushed back a bit by rain, but it ended up starting at about the same time as these games started last year. Both teams got baserunners in their first inning, but after Vinnie Pasquantino singled with one out, 15 consecutive batters were retired between the two teams. Unfortunately, Riley Greene interrupted that by absolutely obliterating a high fastball from Zack Greinke for a dinger with one out in the fourth.
Fortunately, the Royals answered immediately. With one out in the bottom of the frame, Bobby Witt Jr. singled and Nick Pratto drew a walk. Edward Olivares then battled Matthew Boyd, fouling off four pitches before getting plunked to load the bases. MJ Melendez then did what the Royals do by swinging at the first pitch, which wasn’t an especially good pitch to hit. He bounced it to Spencer Torkelson at first, who got the out at second but a run came across. Freddy Fermin struck out to end the threat.
After Greinke worked out of a jam in the fifth, the Royals threatened again. Maikel Garcia doubled off the center field wall with one out and, after a Matt Duffy strikeout, Vinnie Pasquantino walked. Will Vest came in for Detroit to clean up Boyd’s mess. Witt did the whole “swing at the first pitch because screw it” thing and he got a pretty good piece of it, but it found Matt Vierling’s glove in right field to end the inning.
Josh Taylor entered the game in the sixth and promptly allowed another barrel to Greene, this one a double off the right-center wall. Torkelson then flew out for the first out. Vierling hit a bouncer that Pratto made a great play on to save a run, but it didn’t matter as pinch-hitter Zack Short hit a nuke in the very next AB to give Detroit a 4-1 lead. Kansas City managed to get one back in the seventh off a Pasquantino single, but Witt once again swung at the first pitch and flew out to end the rally.
The eighth inning was a similar story. Detroit increased their lead to 6-2 thanks to a 2-RBI double off the bat of Jonathon Schoop. Kansas City rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning but couldn’t put up a crooked number. The Royals again tried to rally in the ninth when Alex Lange plunked Garcia to lead off the inning. Michael Massey pinch-hit for Duffy and popped out, but Pasquantino followed by roping a double down the right field line that brought the tying run to the plate with one out. Witt swung at a 1-0 pitch that he really did not need to swing at and hit a routine flyball to center. It scored Garcia from third, but brought up Pratto as the last hope. He struck out to end the game.
No nuggets from me today, I’m moving this weekend and have been busy getting my apartment packed up. The loss drops the Royals to 15-36. Detroit is somehow second in the AL Central. I know the division is bad, but they’re third to last in the majors in position player fWAR and fourth to last in pitcher fWAR. How are they only three games below .500? Kansas City will get the day off tomorrow before welcoming the Washington Nationals to town for a three game set this weekend. I would strongly suggest watching college baseball conference tournaments or college softball Super Regionals instead.
Zack Greinke: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Matthew Boyd: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Vinnie Pasquantino: 3-4, 2B, RBI, BB
Riley Greene: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB