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Detroit — This is what happens when a pitcher doesn't perform as planned. These are the consequences when not only that pitcher, but too many of his colleagues, simply can't put away big-league hitters.

This was Alfredo Simon's linescore after the Royals and their designated hitter, Kendrys Morales, who Sunday was more like a designated demolitions expert, had finished tattooing the Tigers, 10-3, at Comerica Park.

Simon allowed 13 hits. He was blasted for eight runs, all earned, which included three home runs. He walked three batters and struck out three.

All of this carnage occurred in a relatively short but thoroughly brutal 4 1/3 innings, during which Simon threw 102 pitches.

"He was up all day," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, meaning too many of Simon's pitches cruised at a bat-friendly altitude in the vicinity of a hitter's mid-section, which is where damage tends to be done.

"Around the belt," Ausmus said. "The Royals took advantage."

Those who haven't realized an advantage from Simon in 2015 would include Simon as well as the Tigers.

He was acquired last December in an expensive trade with the Reds that primarily cost Detroit a talented, good-hitting shortstop in Eugenio Suarez. But the Tigers deemed it an affordable price.

Simon, after all, was a right-handed starter who, despite some mixed work at Cincinnati, was big (6-foot-6, 265 pounds), which the Tigers love in their starters.

A pitcher who turned 34 in May also was seasoned. And, he was on the verge of free agency in the autumn of 2015, which the Tigers and other clubs generally view as a performance incentive.

But it hasn't gone that way for Simon in 2015. Not with any regularity, which is what might be discerned from a 5.21 ERA. The high ERA and 1.49 WHIP haven't negated his 13 victories as much as they testify to the fact he, like too many of his cohorts, has not been a pitcher you could trust in 2015 to pitch well often enough for Ausmus' team, on many dates, to win.

Al Alburquerque is a less-glaring example of this year's Tigers' pitching malaise.

He worked a single inning Sunday. He allowed two hits and a walk. The Royals didn't score, but Alburquerque, who was supposed to have been one of the Tigers' reliable relievers in 2015, has an ugly bullpen ERA of 4.47 and a far more repulsive WHIP of 1.61.

Of course, circumstances played into Simon being allowed to take bullet after Royals bullet Sunday.

The Tigers had played three consecutive extra-inning games. They also were staring at Monday's day-night doubleheader against the White Sox, with Kyle Ryan and Randy Wolf scheduled to start for the Tigers.

A bullpen, already on fumes, could be looking at more tough hours Monday.

Of course, bad back-end pitching helped extend some of those extra-inning games. It's another way of documenting how an ongoing Tigers problem in 2015 has begotten compound problems.

Even with September's expanded rosters, the Tigers have been running thin on pitchers. And that too often has to do with a starter self-destructing, as Simon did Sunday, and as — almost on an alternating basis — he too frequently has imploded in his polarized 2015 starts.

Jose Valdez was another of those summoned Sunday to help get the Tigers through a game in which Morales slammed three home runs and a triple.

Valdez, who wouldn't be pitching in Detroit if the Tigers had necessary better options, arrived to bail out Simon. He worked 1 2/3 innings.

He was strafed for three hits in his brief shift, which included two walks.

This is no way to win baseball games. It will be impossible to win much more in 2016 than the Tigers have won this season if pitching isn't overhauled.

And that will be some task Al Avila, the team's new general manager, inherits as he ponders days such as Sunday, and thoughts on how he'll overhaul a pitching corps that, rather incredibly, has gone from being Detroit's baseball trademark to being the most disturbing roster disintegration imaginable for a supposed big-league contender.

lynn.henning@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/Lynn_Henning

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