After rain delay, Royals down Tigers in 10th
DETROIT -- The weekend showdown between the Tigers and Royals lasted into Monday morning before Omar Infante's 10th-inning sacrifice fly decided the rubber match of their three-game set, sending Kansas City to a 2-1 win at Comerica Park.
Aside from an early run apiece, Shane Greene and Chris Young took an unlikely pitching duel into the late innings. While Greene pounded the ball on the ground, Young got early contact to frustrate Tigers hitters for the second time in just over a week. Neither had a strikeout until Young fanned Nick Castellanos leading off the fifth. Greene didn't have a swing and miss until the top of the fifth, and no strikeout until the seventh.
It took a one-hour, 43-minute rain delay to stop the Sunday night pitching display, turning it into a Monday morning marathon. Alex Gordon was ruled to have been hit by Angel Nesbitt's first pitch of the 10th, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Salvador Perez's groundout to the right side and scored when Infante drove a ball to deep center field.
In the bottom of the 10th, Royals closer Greg Holland escaped a bases-loaded no-out situation, preserving the win by getting Hernan Perez to bounce into a double play and later, getting Yoenis Cespedes to strike out.
"Unbelievable," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I still felt good with the bases loaded because I have seen Holly get out of bases loaded and no outs situations before."
Royals reliever Jason Frasor also got out of a bases-loaded two-out situation in the ninth.
"You overcome adversity and the job that Jason and Greg did to get out of the last two innings, just a great team win," Young said. "It'll make the flight much more enjoyable.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ground-ball Greene: Greene entered Sunday having allowed 20 runs on 23 hits over 11 innings in his previous three starts. After back-to-back line-drive doubles plated a Royals run in the second, Greene got back to his ground-ball ways to retire 15 in a row, 13 by groundout. He retired 21 of the final 23 batters he faced on his way to eight innings of one-run ball.
"Just threw strikes, changed speeds," Greene said. "They swing early and often, and I knew that going into it. So I knew if I made my pitches, I could be out there for a long time."
Behind-the-back error: The Royals gave up a run with an uncharacteristic mental error from second baseman Infante. With two out in the third, Anthony Gose of the Tigers laid down a nice bunt that was charged by Infante, who for some reason tried a behind-the-back flip to first that sailed way over Eric Hosmer's head. The error allowed Gose to reach second and sure enough, Ian Kinsler followed with a solid single up the middle to score Gose for the only run off Young -- it was unearned..
Gordon's double: The only damage the Royals did against Greene came in the second when Kendrys Morales and Gordon pounded doubles to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. But the rally stopped cold there when Perez flied out to center without advancing the runner, and Infante and Christian Colon grounded out..
Sit down: Brad Ausmus generally avoids pulling his big hitters for pinch-runners in close games, fearing he'll need the bat later. When Miguel Cabrera drew a leadoff walk in the ninth after a rain delay, however, Ausmus took a chance and pinch-ran with Rajai Davis. Davis got to third on a Victor Martinez single and Castellanos walk, but was stranded there, leaving Detroit without its best hitter with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 10th. Hernan Perez, who took over at first base, hit into a 5-2-3 double play. More >
"It didn't work out this time, but to me it's a move you have to make at that point in the game," Ausmus said.
"We lost the game. Sometimes we beat ourselves. Sometimes in baseball there are situations that you can take advantage of that you don't. It's not always the other team outperforming you. Sometimes you don't perform. That's the way this game goes sometimes. We probably should've scored some more runs tonight." -- Kinsler More >
IN THE PINK
Heidi Westphal, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2013 and underwent chemo treatments, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, was chosen as the honorary bat girl for the Tigers. She got to meet players and throw out the ceremonial first pitch with fellow cancer survivors on the field watching, not to mention her family. More >
Six of the Royals hitters in the starting lineup used pink bats -- Alcides Escobar, Hosmer, Morales, Gordon, Perez and Jarrod Dyson -- to recognize breast cancer awareness.
RoyalsThe Royals open a four-game series at Texas with left-hander Danny Duffy taking the hill against the Rangers in a 7:05 p.m. CT start. Duffy (2-1, 4.55 ERA) is coming off his shortest non-injury start of his career -- just one-plus innings against Cleveland.
Tigers: Detroit is off Monday before welcoming the red-hot Minnesota Twins for a three-game series beginning Tuesday night at Comerica Park. Alfredo Simon will try to bounce back from back-to-back rough outings when he takes the mound in the opener for a 7:08 p.m. ET first pitch.
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