Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Kennedy breaks off win with nasty curveball

Right-hander logs 7 strong frames as Royals clip Tigers
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

DETROIT -- It wasn't by design, but Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy kept going to his curveball and slider on Wednesday night and it was effective enough to throw seven solid innings in an 8-2 win over the Tigers.

Kennedy normally throws his fastball 60 percent of the time. Informed he threw fastballs only 40 percent of the time on Wednesday, Kennedy seemed in disbelief.

View Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- It wasn't by design, but Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy kept going to his curveball and slider on Wednesday night and it was effective enough to throw seven solid innings in an 8-2 win over the Tigers.

Kennedy normally throws his fastball 60 percent of the time. Informed he threw fastballs only 40 percent of the time on Wednesday, Kennedy seemed in disbelief.

View Full Game Coverage

"Oh, man, really? Is that the first time ever?" Kennedy said. "I threw my curveball really well today. I felt like I was on top of my pitches all night. I had depth to my slider."

Actually, Kennedy knew something was up by the third inning when catcher Salvador Perez kept calling for breaking pitches.

"Salvy kept calling the curve and I said, 'Is it that good?' He said, 'Yes,'" Kennedy said. "And that's fine. They're a good fastball-hitting team."

Kennedy breezed through seven innings, giving up five hits and two runs while walking one and striking out five.

"He had really good command tonight," Perez said. "Really good. Sharp."

The only issue Kennedy had was the long ball. He gave up solo homers to Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera, neither of which hurt his cause, though.

"I told [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] that if I get beat by two opposite-field homers, so be it," Kennedy said.

"I think [Miggy's] been doing it more this year, going that way," Kennedy said. "We were up 5-0 in the game and I had a 2-1 count. I wasn't going to get too far behind in the count. We're ahead, just trying to get some quick outs."

The home run to Cabrera came on a fastball down and away, perhaps a little off the plate. Cabrera powered it over the right-field wall as only he can.

"I threw a fastball down the outside lane -- it was a line-drive homer," Kennedy said. "He can do that. I mean, he just played pepper with it."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Ian Kennedy