Detroit, MI (WKZO) – The Tigers bullpen blew an eighth inning lead forcing extra innings and Alex Gordon’s first career grand slam capped off a five run 10th inning for the Royals as they defeated the Tigers 8-3 on Thursday afternoon.
Justin Verlander was in line for the win when he was unexpectedly forced to leave the game due to cracked skin on his right thumb after tossing only 96 pitches in seven innings. When he left the Tigers were up 3-2, but JV ended up with a no decision when one of the newest Tigers relievers couldn’t hold onto to the one run lead.
In his major league debut, Bruce Rondon gave up a sac fly in the eighth inning, scoring Jarrod Dyson and tying the game at three and forcing extra innings. Dyson pinch ran for Billy Butler who singled to start the inning, then stolen second and advanced to third on a ground out. Rondon hit 100mph on the Comerica Park radar gun on the single he allowed to Butler.
During the 10th inning Phil Coke (0-3) loaded the bases before walking in a run to give the Royals the 4-3 lead. Darren Downs replaced Coke and gave up the grand slam to Gordon to the bushes in center field at Comerica Park.
*Before hitting a double to open the first inning, Austin Jackson had gone 0-26 over his last five plus games. Jackson gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead when he scored his AL high 21st run on an RBI single from Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera has 20 RBI’s this season.
*Jhonny Peralta tied the game at two for Detroit in the fourth with a sac fly scoring Prince Fielder. Fielder walked to start the inning and advanced to third after two wild pitches from Royals starter James Shields.
*Torii Hunter singled home Omar Infante from second in the fifth to put the Tigers atop KC 3-2. Hunter had two hits and leads the AL in batting average at .373.
*Billy Butler tied the game at one for the Royals in the third inning with an RBI single, scoring Alcides Escobar. Butler was 3 for 3 with a walk and is now a career .396 off Verlander.
*With runners on the corners and two outs, Shields got Cabrera to pop out to second base to end the third inning.
*The Royals took the lead in the fourth 2-1 after two infield singles put runners on the corners with one down. Salvador Perez then hit a sac fly scoring Lorenzo Cain.
Game Notes: The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes due to rain. Rain continued to fall throughout the game…Verlander had four strikeouts. He is day to day and shouldn't miss his next start…James Shields went eight innings for KC, allowing all three runs but held the Tigers to only five hits…Tim Collins (1-0) got the win for KC...The Atlanta Braves head to Comerica for three interleague games starting on Friday night. Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 1.75 ERA) gets the start for Detroit. Braves will start left hander Paul Maholm (3-1, 1.03).