Live Tigers blog: Six HRs help in Tigers 10-4 win

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 16, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The right knee of Victor Martinez appears to be just fine.

He hit three home runs in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over the Royals.

As a team, the Tigers (34-32) hit six long balls — including Miguel Cabrera’s go-ahead 2-run shot in the top of the seventh inning, after James McCann tied the game on a solo homer.

Justin Verlander (7-5) got the win for the Tigers. He went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while striking out seven and walking one.

Danny Duffy started for the Royals, going five innings, and allowing three runs on four hits while striking out four and walking two.

Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez left in the bottom of the second inning, with a non-displaced fracture in his right elbow. He is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Andrew Romine.

The two teams continue their four-game set tomorrow. First pitch is set for 8:15 Eastern. The Tigers send Michael Fulmer (7-1, 2.62 ERA) to the mound, while the Royals (35-31) throw Yordano Ventura (5-4, 4.93 ERA) — who is appealing a nine-game suspension for his role in a fight with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in Baltimore last week.

Top 9th: V-Mart hits 3rd HR

Victor Martinez is having a day. He hit his third home run of the game to lead off the top of the ninth inning, further adding to the Tigers lead. The Tigers went down in order after the home run, but going to the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers lead 10-4.

Bottom 8th: Greene holds Royals

Tigers reliever Shane Greene, on to replace Justin Verlander, looked to be working quickly in the top of the eighth inning. He got the first two outs, before putting a pair of runners on with two outs. Kendrys Morales reached on an infield single to third baseman Nick Castellanos, before Paulo Orlando singled. However, Cheslor Cuthbert grounded out to second baseman Ian Kinsler to end the threat, and the inning. After eight, the Tigers lead 9-4.

Top 8th: Tigers add insurance runs

Andrew Romine singled and Nick Castellanos walked, putting two on with nobody out to start the eighth. Justin Upton singled in Romine (Castellanos to third), extending the Tigers’ lead with no outs. James McCann hit a sac fly to the deepest part of center field, scoring Castellanos and putting yet another insurance run on the board. Mike Aviles followed with a fielder’s choice, moving Upton to second. Ian Kinsler scored Upton with a 2-out single. Jose Iglesias reached when Alcides Escobar misplayed his grounder, extending the inning. Miguel Cabrera ended the inning on a fly ball to center field, but going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers lead 9-4.

Bottom 7th: JV shuts Royals down

Tigers starter Justin Verlander set the Royals down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning. He got Whit Merrifield and Alcides Escobar to ground out, before striking out Eric Hosmer swinging to end the inning. Through seven innings, Verlander has allowed four runs on eight hits, while striking out seven and walking one. The Tigers are holding on, with a 6-4 lead going to the top of the eighth.

Top 7th: McCann, Cabrera go yard

James McCann tied the game with a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh inning. The next batter, Mike Aviles, grounded to second. Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-out single over the head of Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers the lead with a  2-run homer with two outs. Victor Martinez struck out to end the half inning, but after six and a half, the Tigers lead 6-4

Bottom 6th: Verlander strands two

Tigers starter Justin Verlander returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Salvador Perez. Kendrys Morales flew out to Justin Upton in left, for the first out. Paulo Orlando then advanced Perez on a ground ball to Verlander. Cheslor Cuthbert walked, putting two on with two outs. Brett Eisner — who hit his first major league home run in his last at-bat — lined out to Upton to end the inning, and the threat. After six, the Tigers trail the Royals, 4-3.

Top 6th: Tigers go quietly, again

The Royals turned to former Tiger Joakim Soria to start the sixth inning. He allowed a 1-out single to Andrew Romine, before Nick Castellanos hit a long sacrifice fly, advancing Romine to second. Justin Upton struck out looking — for the second time — to end the inning. After five and a half, the Tigers trail the Royals, 4-3.

Bottom 5th: Royals retake lead

Brett Eisner led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run to center field. Verlander responded with a strike out of Whit Merrifield. Alcides Escobar popped out to Miguel Cabrera in foul territory, for the second out. Verlander hit Eric Hosmer, to put him on with two outs. Lorenzo Cain grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice, but the Royals lead 4-3 after five.

Top 5th: Tigers go in order

Royals starter Danny Duffy set the Tigers down in order in the top of the fifth inning. Ian Kinsler flew out to start the fifth inning. Jose Iglesias — who currently has a 13-game hitting streak — flew out to right, for the second out. Miguel Cabrera followed by grounding out to Duffy. After four and a half, the Tigers and Royals remain tied at 3.

Bottom 4th: JV plunks Perez, strands him

After hitting Salvador Perez in the left hand/arm with a pitch, Tigers starter Justin Verlander settled in. He retired the Royals in order after Perez, striking out a pair. After four, the Tigers and Royals are tied, 3-3.

Top 4th: V-Mart homers again

Victor Martinez has two at-bats. Both have come to start inning and have resulted in solo home runs. The next batter, Andrew Romine — replacing the injured J.D. Martinez in the lineup — grounded out to shortstop. Nick Castellanos tied the game with a solo shot to left center. The Tigers and Royals are tied 3-3 going to the bottom of the fourth.

Injury Update on J.D. Martinez, per the team: Non-displaced fracture of the radial neck of the right elbow. MRI scheduled for tomorrow to confirm.

Bottom 3rd: JV, Tigers settle in

Tigers starter Justin Verlander started the bottom of the third inning by getting Alcides Escobar to strike out swinging. Verlander then got Eric Hosmer to strike out swinging for the second out. Lorenzo Cain singled with two outs, extending the inning for the Royals. With Salvador Perez batting, Tigers catcher James McCann threw out Cain attempting to steal second base, to end the inning. After three, the Tigers are down 3-1.

Top 3rd: Tigers strand two

James McCann walked to start the inning — the first walk for Royals starter Danny Duffy. Mike Aviles followed with a single, to put a pair of Tigers on with nobody out. Ian Kinsler struck out — the fourth strikeout for Duffy — for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder’s choice, moving McCann to third. Miguel Cabrera lined out to right field, ending the threat. After two and a half, the Tigers are down 3-1.

Bottom 2nd: J.D. leaves with injury

On Paulo Orlando’s leadoff triple, Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez collided with the wall, and appeared to injure his right arm/wrist. He left the game and was replaced in the lineup by Andrew Romine. Justin Upton moved from center field to left field, while Mike Aviles moved from left to right field, and Romine entered the game in center field.

With one out, following the injury to J.D. Martinez, Justin Verlander got Cheslor Cuthbert to strike out looking. Brett Eibner hit a screaming single up the middle, scoring Orlando before Whit Merrifield grounded into an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play, but after two, the Royals are up 3-1.

Top 2nd: Tigers get run back

The Tigers got a run back in the top of the second inning. Victor Martinez sent the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left field. The next batter, J.D. Martinez, struck out swinging.  Then, Nick Castellanos flew out to the warning track in center field. Justin Upton struck out looking to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the second, the Tigers trail 2-1.

Bottom 1st: Royals jump out to quick lead

The Royals didn't take long to get to Tigers starter Justin Verlander. Whit Merrifield led off the bottom of the first with a single, before Alcides Escobar doubled on a ball that dropped in between left fielder Mike Aviles and center fielder Justin Upton — starting for Cameron Maybin (quad). Eric Hosmer scored Merrifield on a ground out to second baseman Ian Kinsler. Lorenzo Cain drove in Escobar on a double to right field. Salvador Perez flew out to Upton, for the second out. Kendrys Morales ended the inning with a grounder to Kinsler. However, after one, the Royals are ahead 2-0.

Top 1st: Quick start for Duffy

Royals starter Danny Duffy needed just eight pitches to get out of the top of the first inning. Ian Kinsler led off the game with a foul pop fly to Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Jose Iglesias — who hit a 3-run home run off Chris Sale last night, extending his hitting streak to 13 games — grounded out to shortstop, before Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch: Tigers at Royals

The Tigers open a four-game series Thursday night against their rivals from the Central Division, the Kansas City Royals. First pitch is 8:15 p.m.

The Tigers are in third place in the Central, two games behind the Royals and Indians, who are tied for first.

It hasn’t been the best of seasons so far for reliever Mark Lowe, but the Tigers have been encouraged by signs of a turnaround, Chris McCosky reports.

Things could change in the next month, of course. But given their current roster makeup, Tigers GM Al Avila doesn’t expect any big moves ahead of the trade deadline.

The Tigers are convinced that one of their top prospects, JaCoby Jones, needs to spend some quality time in Toledo before they even think about a promotion to the bigs.


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Jose Iglesias, SS

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. J.D. Martinez, RF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Justin Upton, CF

8. James McCann, C

9. Mike Aviles, LF

Justin Verlander, P


1. Whit Merrifield, 2B

2. Alcides Escobar, SS

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B

4. Lorenzo Cain, CF

5. Salvador Perez, C

6. Kendrys Morales, DH

7. Paulo Orlando, RF

8. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B

9. Brett Eibner, LF

Danny Duffy, P


When: Thursday, 8:15 p.m.

Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

Pitching matchup: RHP Justin Verlander (6-5, 3.77) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (2-1, 2.94)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: MLB Network

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849