Royals lose no-hit bid in 8th, but tame Tigers
KANSAS CITY -- Royals spot starter Chris Young tossed five innings of no-hit ball, and the bullpen kept the no-no going for seven innings before the Tigers' Nick Castellanos singled in the eighth, but Kansas City held on for a 4-1 victory on Friday night in front of 38,186 fans at Kauffman Stadium.
Castellanos broke up the combined no-hitter with a line-drive single to left off reliever Kelvin Herrera.
The game got intense in that same eighth when the Tigers loaded the bases with one out off Herrera, who then dueled Miguel Cabrera in a 10-pitch at-bat before striking him out. Victor Martinez then flied to left to end the inning.
"He is such a good hitter," Herrera said. "I threw a couple of sinkers, middle and middle in, he just fouled them off. Other hitters, you might get them there."
Royals manager Ned Yost said he was close to lifting Herrera, who gave up two walks and two hits before the Cabrera at-bat.
"Pretty close," Yost said. "If he lost Cabrera, I was going to go get him."
Young rolled through the Tigers' order with just one hiccup in the fourth when he walked three hitters. But he also got out of it by striking out the side. Young threw a season-high 81 pitches, 51 for strikes.
"That was the story of the game for us, what Chris Young did," Yost said.
Young continued his dominance of Detroit -- he came into the game with a career 1.67 ERA against the Tigers.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Hoz bunt: The Royals got a two-out single by Lorenzo Cain in the first, and the Tigers then shifted against Eric Hosmer, who laid down a beautiful bunt down the vacated third-base side. That set up Kendrys Morales, who dribbled a ground ball past first baseman Cabrera for a double, scoring Cain and Hosmer for a 2-0 lead.
"I'm continually impressed with our guys just taking what they're given," Yost said. "That was big because you got Morales coming up with a hot bat."
Hosmer was surprised the Tigers were in the shift.
"That was an extreme shift," he said. "The whole side was open. I had to take it."
Red-hot Morales: The designated hitter came into the game leading the Royals with 17 RBIs, and he added to that total. As mentioned, he drove in two runs with the first-inning double. Then after Hosmer legged out a bloop double to left in the third inning, Morales rifled a single through the middle. Hosmer might have been out at the plate, but catcher Alex Avila couldn't handle the throw from center.
Lobstein labors in first again: For the third time in four outings this season, Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein struggled through his opening inning. This time, however, he didn't get much help behind him, either. Hosmer's bunt against the shift continued the inning, including Morales' double. Salvador Perez's liner to left-center was the most solid hit against the lefty all inning. Lobstein gave up a run on six hits over the next 6 1/3 innings.
"The killer was Morales' ball off the end of the bat, kind of a seeing-eye double that drove in a couple," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "That one kind of stung, because really he pitched pretty well throughout the game. He just happened to give up three runs in the first inning, and a lot of it had to do with that base hit."
Bases loaded, results empty: The Tigers loaded the bases twice, but they never got the hit they needed. Young walked the bases loaded with one out in the fourth inning, including an 11-pitch battle with Victor Martinez, but sent down J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes swinging at sliders down and out of the zone. Anthony Gose drove in Avila on a bases-loaded groundout in the eighth, but after Ian Kinsler's walk placed the potential tying run on base, Herrera fanned Cabrera and induced a Victor Martinez fly ball to left on a 2-0 pitch. More >
"I think we got three or four hits tonight, but we were in that game," Ian Kinsler said. "We got bases-loaded early and we couldn't get anything out of it, had bases-loaded late, couldn't get anything out of it. We threatened again in the ninth. We didn't give up. We kept fighting."
Tigers: David Price will make his first career start at Kauffman Stadium, and his first start against the Royals in a Tigers uniform on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET, trying to wrestle momentum back for Detroit in this series. His lone appearance in Kansas City was a one-inning relief appearance in the next-to-last game of the 2010 regular season.
Royals: Right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-2, 1.91 ERA) gets the start for the Royals in the 6:10 p.m. CT start. Volquez on Friday finished serving his five-game suspension for throwing a punch during an altercation with the White Sox on April 23.
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