Tigers' Brad Ausmus: Friday win no 'statement game'

Tom Gage
The Detroit News
Royals second baseman Omar Infante is hit by a pitch during the second inning Saturday.

Kansas City, Mo. — Was the Tigers' 10-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night a statement game?

One that reminded the Royals just how difficult it's going to be to get past the Tigers in the American League Central?

Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus doesn't believe in statement games.

"I promise you," he said, "that whatever happened last night has no bearing on today's game."

Wanting all the smiles wiped off the faces of the Tigers after Friday night's game — because "there are no statements, man" — Torii Hunter agreed with his manager.

"We just play the game we know how to play," Hunter said.

But here's what the first-place Tigers have done in the opening game of the three series they've played in Kansas City this season: They've outscored the Royals 34-7 — winning so resoundingly that the Royals never got back on their feet.

The Tigers won the first game they played at Kauffman Stadium this season 8-2. They went on to sweep the three-game series.

They won the opener of their second series at Kauffman Stadium in July 16-4 — winning the next two games as well before the Royals bounced back to win the final game of the four-game series.

And the two teams headed into Saturday's game in the familiar setting of the Tigers coming off a lopsided victory.

"They whooped us, they beat us, they spanked us, whatever you want to say," said Royals' manager Ned Yost. "But there is no carryover."

Or is there?

There is if lopsided openers can, indeed, a set a tone for the rest of a series. After all, following Friday night's game, the Tigers were 7-1 at Kauffman Stadium this year.

But on your way toward believing there are statement games, you will encounter Ausmus and Hunter marching in the opposite direction — as they were after Friday night's lopsided victory.