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Turnbull goes 6 sharp, but Tigers get messy late

June 11, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull continues to flourish against the Royals. Turnbull delivered six scoreless innings and left with a lead Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. But the Detroit bullpen wasn’t able to hold that lead after Turnbull departed after 96 pitches. The Royals scored one run in

KANSAS CITY -- Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull continues to flourish against the Royals.

Turnbull delivered six scoreless innings and left with a lead Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. But the Detroit bullpen wasn’t able to hold that lead after Turnbull departed after 96 pitches. The Royals scored one run in the seventh and two in the eighth for a 3-2 victory.

Box score

Cheslor Cuthbert’s RBI bloop single to right against Victor Alcantara snapped a 2-2 tie in the eighth.

In 14 starts this season, Turnbull has thrown over 100 pitches only twice.

“I would have liked pitching into the seventh,” Turnbull said. “A couple of at-bats, I didn’t quite execute well enough. But overall, I felt like I did a decent job. They did a good job of fouling off some pitches and laying off some close ones.”

Turnbull lowered his ERA to 2.78 after turning to the curveball when his slider wasn’t effective early. His ERA against Kansas City is 1.42 in three starts.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Turnbull was told he was going back out for the seventh, but ultimately a decision was made to call on the bullpen.

“We started talking about it,” Gardenhire said. “He’s one of our good young pitching prospects. We definitely aren’t going to run him into any trouble.”

The Tigers got all their offense via the long ball, as Nicholas Castellanos and Brandon Dixon delivered solo homers. Castellanos’ first-inning shot of Jakob Junis was the 100th of his career. Dixon connected off Junis in the fourth.

Bloop trouble

The Tigers could only shake their heads when talking about the RBI bloop single by Cuthbert that drove in the winning run.

With speedy pinch-runner Terrance Gore at third and one out, Alcantara got Cuthbert to pop the ball up behind first with the infield in. Castellanos came on from right field and John Hicks went out from first. Castellanos had the momentum coming in to catch and throw to the plate, but neither fielder took charge.

“I guess it’s no man’s land,” Gardenhire said. “Somebody has to take charge of the ball. It’s just a ball hit in the right place with the infield in. That was just a break for them.”

Said Hicks: “I think maybe both of us could have gotten it. We just didn’t communicate very well. I looked at him, and he looked at me. Neither one of us called it.”