FINAL: ROYALS 4, TIGERS 0
Mike Pelfrey got off to another sketchy start for the Tigers tonight, loading the bases in the first two innings while somehow managing to only give up one run. The defending world champs were able to tack on a few more in the fourth on their way to a 4-0 victory, taking two out of three games from the Tigers in the rivals' first meeting of the season.
Pelfrey gave up four runs on eight hits and five walks. He's sure to have people chirping about his role going forward.
On the flip side, Edison Volquez pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just five hits while walking one.
In the ninth, Victor Martinez grounded out, J.D. Martinez flew out to center field and Nick Castellanos flew out to right field as K.C. reliever Danny Duffy put together a perfect ninth inning.
Bottom 8th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Alex Wilson got the call in the eighth for the Tigers, striking out Salvador Perez to leadoff the inning. He got the next two outs with ease, getting Omar Infante to fly out to center field and Jarrod Dyson to line out to end the inning.
Top 8th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Kelvin Herrera showed why he's one of the best eighth inning guys in baseball, striking out Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton before getting Miguel Cabrera to fly out to right field in an easy, breezy, 1-2-3 inning.
The Tigers are down to their final three outs, and we may not get to see it as Fox Sports 1 is switching over to Cubs vs. Reds for Jake Arrietta's attempt at finishing off a no-hitter.
Bottom 7th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Kendrys Morales stroked a two-out single to center field, but Kyle Ryan remained calm while turning in his second inning of solid relief, getting Alex Gordon to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer both grounded out for the first two outs of the inning.
Note: Fox Sports 1 will be switching, momentarily, over to coverage of the Cubs' Jake Arrieta as he attempts to finish off a no-hitter in the ninth inning against the Reds.
Top 7th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Nick Castellanos ripped a leadoff single to left field, but that was the last bit of good news for the Tigers as Edison Volquez finished off his night by setting down the next three hitters in order.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to center field, Tyler Collins struck out and Jose Iglesias grounded out to end the inning.
Volquez threw seven strong innings for K.C., surrendering just five hits and a walk to the Tigers while throwing 112 pitches.
Bottom 6th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Kyle Ryan got the call for the Tigers in the sixth, replacing the tedious Mike Pelfrey on the mound. Ryan gave up a hit on a single by Jarrod Dyson, but a nice slider got a double play ball off the bat of Alcides Escobar. Ryan got Mike Moustakas to fly out to end the inning.
Top 6th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Miguel Cabrera grounded out, Victor Martinez did the same and J.D. Marttinez followed suit as Edison Volquez put together a ho-hum 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Volquez is sitting at 90 pitches right now. I expect we'll see him in the seventh with a four-run lead.
Bottom 5th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Despite being throwing 95 pitches through four innings, Mike Pelfrey came back out for the fifth inning. Surprisingly, Pelfrey put together his first 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Alex Gordon grounded out on a great diving play by Ian Kinsler, Salvador Perez struck out swinging and Omar Infante popped out to end the inning.
At 104 pitches, Pelfrey is cooked. He's lucky to escape this one having given up just four runs.
Top 5th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Ian Kinsler stroked a two-out double to deep left field, but Justin Upton couldn't help the Tigers chip away at the Royals' lead, grounding out to short to end the inning.
Tyler Collins struck out looking, becoming Edison Volquez's fourth strikeout victim of the night to leadoff the inning. Jose Iglesias fouled out for the second out of the inning.
Bottom 4th: Royals 4, Tigers 0
Omar Infate doubled down the third baseline to leadoff the inning and was sacrificed to third by Jarrod Dyson.
That proved to be the right call by Ned Yost and Co. as Alcides Escobar ripped one deep enough to left field to score Infante from third and give K.C. a 2-0 lead.
Mike Moustakas added to the lead with a bomb to center field for his fifth home run of the season.
To follow, Lorenzo Cain drew the Royals fifth walk of the night, Eric Hosmer kept the inning alive with a single to left field and a double steal paid off as Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw the ball down to third base that Nick Castellanos was unable to come up with.
Top 4th: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Edison Volquez is starting to labor, but the Tigers couldn't take advantage, leaving the bases juiced in the fourth inning as Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out swinging.
With two outs, Victor Martinez singled the other way to put a man on base and J.D. Martinez reached base on an unlikely error by Alcides Escobar, who let a ball hop right between his legs. With men on first and second, Nick Castellanos drew his first base on balls of the season (47 at-bats) to load em' up for Saltalamacchia.
Justin Upton hasn't been having the best of times at the dish lately, but he really put a charge into one to leadoff the fourth inning. Problem is, Alex Gordon may be the best left fielder in baseball. Gordon ran a country mile to chase down a ball hit to deep left center field and stretched out for an amazing diving catch that got a standing ovation from the crowd in K.C.
Miguel Cabrera grounded out for out number two.
Bottom 3rd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Eric Hosmer drew a leadoff walk, Pelfrey's fourth, and moved up to second base with a smart baserunning move (take notes, Tigers) as Kendry Morales flew out to deep center field for the first out of the inning.
Pelfrey came back to strike out Alex Gordon and got Salvador Perez to bounce out to end the inning. The Tigers' starter might actually be settling in. Problem is, he's thrown 71 pitches through three innings (yikes!).
Top 3rd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Edison Volquez finally showed some chinks in his armor, but the Tigers ran themselves into a third out as Jose Iglesias unwisely challenged the arm of Alex Gordon.
Volquez got Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Tyler Collins to fly out to left field before surrendering his first hit of the night on a single through the middle of the infield by Iglesias. Ian Kinsler followed by stroking a single to left field before Iglesias tried to go first-to-third on the shallow single.
Baserunning has been an issue for the Tigers this season. In fact, it was last season too. It's something that needs to be addressed.
Bottom 2nd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Somehow, someway, Mike Pelfrey keeps avoiding a freefall. Pelfrey loaded the bases for the second time in as many innings but came away unscathed after getting Lorenzo Cain to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Omar Infante grounded out to third to leadoff the third inning, but Pelfrey issued a free pass to the speedy Jarrod Dyson on four pitches.
Alcides Escobar notched his second hit of the night with a single to center field, giving K.C. men on first and second. Both of those men took off, completing a double steal of second and third. That didn't matter, though, as both would have ended up there anyways after Pelfrey walked Mike Moustakas, loading the bases for the Royals.
Pelfrey escaped two bases loaded situations in his last start. His ability to get ground balls in big situations is saving his spot in the rotation...for now.
Top 2nd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Victor Martinez grounded out to second base, J.D. Martinez struck out and Nick Castellanos did the same as Edison Volquez is off to a perfect start against the Tigers.
Bottom 1st: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Mike Pelfrey was on the edge of a first inning collapse, but he was able to limit the damage after giving up four first inning hits and loading the bases with two outs.
Alcides Escobar kick-started the first inning with a double to left center field. Mike Moustakas singled to left, moving Escobar to third to give K.C. runners on the corners. Pelfrey nearly got the out he needed to keep them there, but a line drive off the bat of Lorenzo Cain came out of Pelfrey's glove, rolling far enough way form the pitcher to allow Escobar to score.
Amidst some bad luck, the Tigers found a bit of good as a hard-hit ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer found the glove of Jose Iglesias, who was able to step on second base for the double play.
Work still needed to be done after Kendrys Morales ripped one to center field, putting runners back on the corners for the Royals as Cain went first-to-third. Things got even hairier when Pelfrey walked Alex Gordon, loading the bases for Salvador Perez, who grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Pelfrey loaded the bases a few times early on in his last start against the Astors. He worked himself out of trouble on a number of occasions in that game, surrendering just one run in what was ultimately a Tigers loss.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0
Ian Kinsler fouled out behind third base, Justin Upton popped out on the first pitch he saw and Miguel Cabrera grounded out to first base after fighting himself back into a full count.
The Tigers saw just 10 pitches in the inning from Royals starter Edison Volquez.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Justin Upton, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Tyler Collins, CF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Mike Pelfrey, P
1. Alcides Escobar, SS
2. Mike Moustakas, 3B
3. Lorenzo Cain, CF
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Kendrys Morales, DH
6. Alex Gordon, LF
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B
9. Jarrod Dyson, RF
Edinson Volquez, P
TIGERS VS. ROYALS
When: Thursday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Local TV: FS1
National TV: FS1
Internet streaming: MLB.TV
Local radio: 950 AM
Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849