FINAL: ROYALS 3, TIGERS 1
The depleted Tigers offense just couldn't get it done tonight, notching just one run off of Ian Kennedy in 6.1 innings and losing Miguel Cabrera to a left bicep strain after the fourth.
Daniel Norris was not his best, but he did fight through some issues. He allowed baserunners in every inning and got himself into real trouble on three occasions. He still gave up just two runs over 5.1 innings, but the six hits and four walks he allowed show how inconsistent of a start it really was.
After the Royals added an insurance run in the ninth off of Blaine Hardy, the Tigers got a break to start the bottom of the frame after J.D. Martinez reached first base when he struck out swinging but Salvador Perez let the ball reach the backstop. With the tying run at the plate, Justin Upton struck out against K.C. closer Kelvin Herrera and Casey McGehee grounded into a game-ending double play.
Top 9th: Royals 3, Tigers 1
Blaine Hardy got the call for the Tigers in the ninth and couldn't quite corral a ball off the bat of Alcides Escobar, putting the Royals leadoff man on base. That came back to bite Hardy and the Tigers, as Lorenzo Cain stroked a two-out RBI single to give the Royals a bit of insurance at 3-1.
Before the run scored, Raul Mondesi grounded into a fielder's choice and Paulo Orlando flew out to right field for the first two outs of the inning. Hardy issued a walk to Cheslor Cuthbert to put two men on base.
With runners still at the corners following the Cain RBI, Hardy got Eric Hosmer to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Bottom 8th: Royals 2, Tigers 1
Familiar face Joakim Soria came on for the Tigers in the eighth inning and looked to be on his way to a perfect frame. Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into the shift on the right side of the infield and Raul Mondesi made a bad throw to first base to give the Tigers an extra out in the form of Victor Martinez, who grounded out to second on the first pitch he saw.
To start the inning, Ian Kinsler flew out to right field and Tyler Collins struck out looking and was ejected for arguing on his way to the dugout.
Now that Andrew Romine will have to come into the game, the Tigers are out of bench players. A relief pitcher would have to come in should there be an injury to anyone.
Top 8th: Royals 2, Tigers 1
Bruce Rondon got the call for the Tigers in the eighth inning and he did his job, setting the Royals down in order.
Kendrys Morales grounded out to first, Salvador Perez struck out swinging and Alex Gordon grounded out to second to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Royals 2, Tigers 1
The Tigers were just missing on some balls up in the happy zone tonight, resulting in a lot of fly ball outs for Ian Kennedy. Well, J.D. Martinez finally squared one up and drilled it out and over the right center field wall to cut the Tigers deficit to 2-1.
Justin Upton hit a ball hard to right center, but Paulo Orlando was able to run it down. Casey McGehee followed by stroking a hard-hit single to right field, knocking Kennedy out of the game. With Peter Moylan coming in for the Royals, James McCann notched an infield single. With two men on and Dixon Machado due up, Brad Ausmus decided to pinch-hit with Mike Aviles. That didn't work out. Aviles popped out into foul territory to end the inning.
Victor Martinez struck out swinging to leadoff the inning.
Top 7th: Royals 2, Tigers 0
Lorenzo Cain drew a one-out walk from Alex Wilson but the Tigers reliever was quickly able to quell any thoughts of a big inning for Kansas City, getting Eric Hosmer to pop out to shortstop before picking off Cain at first base to end the frame.
Cheslor Cuthbert flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 6th: Royals 2, Tigers 0
Tyler Collins notched a two-out infield single but Ian Kennedy was able to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Dixon Machado struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt and Ian Kinsler flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
Kennedy is rolling tonight. With his pitch count at just 84, he's good for at least one more inning.
Cabrera said to be day-to-day
The Tigers have announced that Miguel Cabrera left tonight's game with a left bicep strain and that their slugger will be day-to-day.
Top 6th: Royals 2, Tigers 0
Alex Gordon drilled a one-out double down the right field line and moved up to third base on a wild pitch. After issuing a walk to Alcides Escobar, Daniel Norris' night was done. Brad Ausmus went to the bullpen and brought in Alex Wilson with just one out and runners on the corners. Raul Mondesi laid down a bunt and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, playing first base for the injured Miguel Cabrera, couldn't decide where to go with the ball, allowing the run to score and everyone to reach their destination safely.
Down 2-0 with men on first and second, Wilson got the ground ball he needed to limit the damage, getting Paulo Orlando to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Norris allowed way too many runners to reach base tonight. He did a nice job escaping big-time damage, but he's still not as crisp as he needs to be going forward.
Bottom 5th: Royals 1, Tigers 0
After Ian Kennedy had retired 10 straight Tigers hitters, Casey McGehee was able to notch a two-out infield single. James McCann was able to get ahead of Kennedy in his at-bat, but he ended up grounding out to shortstop to end the inning.
J.D. Martinez flew out to right field and Justin Upton popped out into foul territory to start the frame.
Top 5th: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Cheslor Cuthbert stroked a one-out double to right center field and Lorenzo Cain drew a walk to put two men on base for Kansas City. Once again, though, Daniel Norris was up to the challenge of fighting his way through a jam. Eric Hosmer grounded into a fielder's choice, putting the runners on second and third with two outs. With Kendrys Morales at the dish, Ian Kinsler made a great diving play at second base to save two runs and get the third out of the inning.
Norris has been flirting with disaster a bit, but he's hanging in there. His pitch count is up to 74.
Cabrera leaves the game
Miguel Cabrera has left the game with some left shoulder pain and Jarrod Saltalamacchia has taken over at first base.
With all the injuries the Tigers have up and down the roster right now, this couldn't come at a worse time for the club.
Bottom 4th: Royals 1, Tigers 0
The Tigers are yet to figure out Ian Kennedy, who set some of the big bats down on his way to another perfect inning.
Tyler Collins struck out swinging, Miguel Cabrera flew out to center field and Victor Martinez did the same.
Top 4th: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Alex Gordon notched a two-out single through the middle of the diamond and Alcides Escobar followed suit with a single of his own, putting runners on the corners for Raul Mondesi. Daniel Norris was able to get out of the jam, though, getting Mondesi to tap one back to the mound.
Kendrys Morales flew out to shallow center field and Salvador Perez grounded out to shortstop to start the frame.
Norris continues to allow guys to reach base, but so far he's done a nice job limiting the damage.
Bottom 3rd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Ian Kennedy is off to a strong start against the Tigers, setting them down in order in the third inning. He's allowed just one hit and thrown just 40 pitches through the first three inning.
James McCann struck out swinging, Dixon Machado popped out to second and Ian Kinsler flied left center to end the inning.
A lot of Tigers hitters have good numbers against Kennedy in their careers, so look for the second or third time around the order to produce.
Top 3rd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Lorenzo Cain stroked a two-out single to center field but Daniel Norris didn't let that snowball on him, striking out Eric Hosmer to end the inning.
Paulo Orlando flew out to center field and Cheslor Cuthbert grounded out to second to start the inning.
Norris is putting men on base early on, but he's keeping his pitch count in decent shape (44) and hasn't been in any real trouble since the first inning.
Bottom 2nd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
J.D. Martinez got things started with a rocket off the bat that ate up Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Justin Upton's hard-hit ground ball was snagged by Alcides Escobar, who started an easy double play. Casey McGeHee popped out to third base to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Alex Gordon drew a one-out walk, the second of the night issued by Daniel Norris. The youngster nearly got an inning-ending double play from Alcides Escobar, but after the Royals had the play reviewed, Escobar was awarded first base.
No harm, no foul, however, as Norris got Raul Mondesi to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Salvador Perez grounded out to third to start the frame.
Bottom 1st: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Miguel Cabrera drew a two-walk from Ian Kennedy, a pitcher he has done quite a bit of damage against in his career. Victor Martinez couldn't pick his teammate up, however, grounding out to shortstop to end the frame.
Ian Kinsler flied out to right field, Tyler Collins grounded out to second base to start the inning.
Top 1st: Royals 1, Tigers 0
Paulo Orlando was given a four-pitch free pass to first base to leadoff the game, and while Cheslor Cuthbert appeared to ground into a fielder's choice, Daniel Norris rushed the throw to first base, throwing it away to put runners on the corners.
Lorenzo Cain popped out for the first out of the inning, but Eric Hosmer's fly out to center field was deep enough to score the game's first run, giving K.C. a 1-0 lead.
Fortunately for the Tigers, that's all their young starting pitcher would allow. He got Kendrys Morales to fly out to end the inning.
It could have been worse for Norris. That was a terrible start, but he seems be settled in now after doing a nice job against the middle of the Royals lineup.
TIGERS VS. ROYALS
When: Monday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.00 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (6-9, 3.91 ERA)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: MLB Network (blacked out in Detroit market)
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Tyler Collins, CF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Casey McGehee, 3B
8. James McCann, C
9. Dixon Machado, SS