FINAL: TIGERS 8, ROYALS 3
Michael Fulmer toed the rubber at Comerica Park Friday night for the biggest start of his young career, and he didn't disappoint, tossing seven innings and getting some help from his teammates in powering the Tigers to an 8-1 win over Kansas City.
Cameron Maybin , Victor Martinez and Justin Upton all homered and had two RBI for the Tigers, who shelled Royals ace Danny for six runs, chasing him from the game in less than four innings.
In the ninth, Mark Lowe got the call out of the bullpen for the Tigers. Alex Gordon notched a leadoff single, and after Raul Mondesi popped out to shortstop, Cheslor Cuthbert was able to work a walk to put two men on for Kansas City. Lowe struck out Drew Butera for the inning's second out, but he gave up a two-run triple to Jarrod Dyson that cut the Tigers lead to 8-3. That led Brad Ausmus to bring in Shane Greene, who struck out Whit Merrifield to end the game.
Fulmer (11-7, 2.95 ERA) was on point tonight. Even though he gave up eight hits, he spread them out over the middle innings and never really seemed to be in serious trouble. The youngster was more loose on the mound than he had been in previous starts and he had complete control over his secondary pitches.
Fulmer's line: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Bottom 8th: Tigers 8, Royals 1
Miguel Cabrera notched a one-out single through the left side of the infield. He was pinch-ran for by Dixon Machado and Steven Moya pinch-hit for Victor Martinez, striking out on three pitches from Chris Young. J.D. Martinez grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Cameron Maybin flew out to right field to leadoff the inning.
Top 8th: Tigers 8, Royals 1
Blaine Hardy got the call for the Tigers in the eighth inning and gave up a two-out single to Kendrys Morales. Hardy was able to bounce back, though, striking out Paulo Orlando to end the frame.
Whit Merrifield grounded out to shortstop and Eric Hosmer flew out to right field to start the inning.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 8, Royals 1
Erick Aybar drew a leadoff walk from new Royals reliever Chris Young, but he was thrown out at second base after a pop up on the infield by Jarrod Saltalamacchia was dropped by Cheslor Cuthbert. With a man still on base, Andrew Romine struck out swinging and Ian Kinsler did the same to end the inning.
Top 7th: Tigers 8, Royals 1
Alcides Escobar became Michael Fulmer's ninth strikeout victim of the night to leadoff the seventh. After giving up a single through the left side of the infield to Cheslor Cuthbert, Fulmer got Drew Butera to fly out to right field and Jarrod Dyson to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Fulmer's thrown 102 pitches tonight, and with the Tigers holding such a big lead, one would assume that's it for him.
Fulmer's line: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Bottom 6th: Tigers 8, Royals 1
Peter Moylan got the call out the Royals bullpen and welcomed to the game with some bad defense from his own team. Jose Iglesias reached to leadoff the inning on a bad throw to first base by Cheslor Cuthbert. The ball actually appeared to hit Iglesias in the hand, but the Tigers shortstop stayed in the game. Ian Kinsler followed with a double to left field to put men on second and third, and after Cameron Maybin grounded out to third, Miguel Cabrera was given a free pass to first base. With the bases loaded, Victor Martinez stayed patient at the plate, taking four balls to bring home Iglesias and stretch the lead to 7-1.
With the bases still juiced, J.D. Martinez flew out to center field deep enough to score the run, making it 8-1.
A ball in the dirt moved Cabrera up to third, putting runners on the corners for Justin Upton, who struck out looking to end the inning.
Top 6th: Tigers 6, Royals 1
Whit Merrifield and Eric Hosmer notched a pair of one-out single off of Michael Fulmer, but the young Tigers' pitcher appeared to get out of the inning with a double play off the bat of Kendrys Morales, but a late Royals replay request determined that Fulmer didn't cleanly catch the ball. With the extra out and runners on the corners, Paulo Orlando notched an infield single to give the Royals their first run of the night, cutting the Tigers lead to 6-1.
Fulmer was able to dust off Alex Gordon for his eighth strikeout of the night.
Fulmer came back from a 3-0 count on Jarrod Dyson to strike out the speedy Royals leadoff man for the first out of the inning. He's thrown 82 pitches tonight. He should get another inning, but with the Tigers trying to limit his innings, that might be it for him after that.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 6, Royals 0
The Tigers went down in order for the first time tonight.
Justin Upton flew out deep to center field, Erick Aybar grounded out to second and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out looking to end the inning.
Top 5th: Tigers 6, Royals 0
Alcides Escobar notched a one-out single through the left side of the infield, but as he has done all night when men have gotten on base, Michael Fulmer dialed it in and got off the mound unscathed.
Cheslor Cuthbert flew out to center field and Drew Butera became Fulmer's sixth strikeout victim of the night to end the inning.
Alex Gordon grounded out to second to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 6, Royals 0
Ian Kinsler drew a one-out walk, the fourth free pass Danny Duffy has issued tonight. Cameron Maybin did the rest, hitting a laser to left field and gone for a two-run home run that stretches the Tigers lead to 6-0.
Miguel Cabrera struck out before Victor Martinez notched a one-out single through the left side of the infield. That was enough to chase Duffy from the game. He gave up six runs on 99 pitches in less than four innings.
With V-Mart on first, the Royals brought in Kevin McCarthy, who got J.D. Martinez to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
Jose Iglesias flew out to right field to leadoff the inning.
Top 4th: Tigers 4, Royals 0
Whit Merrifield notched an infield single to leadoff the fourth and moved up to third on a one-out single by Kendrys Morales, putting Michael Fulmer in his first jam of the night. The youngster was up to task, however, getting Paulo Orlando to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 4, Royals 0
Victor Martinez might have to hobble around the bases, but when he hits a home run, he can go at his own pace. He was able to do just that in the third inning, as he led off the frame with a bomb to left field to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The home run was Martinez's 26th of the season.
J.D. Martinez grounded out to third, but Justin Upton decided to follow in V-Mart's shoes with one-out solo shot, hitting his 27th bomb of the year to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Erick Aybar grounded out to third and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to end the inning.
Top 3rd: Tigers 2, Royals 0
Michael Fulmer gave up his first hit of the night, a two-out single to Drew Burtera, but the young Tigers' starter was able to bounce back and get Jarrod Dyson to ground out to second to end the inning.
Alcides Escobar flew out to center field and Cheslor Cuthbert grounded out to shortstop to start the inning.
Fulmer has thrown 40 pitches through the first three frames.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 2, Royals 0
Jose Iglesias turned on a breaking ball and drove it down the left field line for a one-out double and Ian Kinsler followed with a single through the left side of the infield to put runners on the corners for Cameron Maybin. The Tigers couldn't do any damage, though, as Maybin popped out to shortstop and Miguel Cabrera flew out to right field to end the inning.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the frame.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Royals 0
Michael Fulmer struck out the side and looks absolutely dialed in early on after setting the Royals down in order for the second consecutive inning.
Kendrys Morales struck out swinging, Paulo Orland did the same and Alex Gordon took a pitch on the outside before being sent back to the bench.
Fulmer looks loose on the mound and is getting real good movement on all of his pitches. Kansas City could be in some trouble.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 2, Royals 0
In his first plate appearance since Sunday, Ian Kinsler was able to draw a leadoff walk. After Cameron Maybin flew out to center field, Kinsler was able to move up to third base when Royals starter Danny Duffy made a poor throw to first base. Miguel Cabrera was given the unintentional intentional walk to put runners on the corners for Victor Martinez, but before Martinez could do some damage, Kansas City threw the ball away again. Cabrera tried to take second base and the throw went into center field, allowing Kinsler to score and moving Cabrera up to third.
With a 1-0 lead, Martinez became Duffy's third walk in the inning, setting the stage for J.D. Martinez with runners on the corners. While J.D. wasn't able to get anything done, Justin Upton stayed hot, doubling down the left field line to stake his team a 2-0 lead. The RBI was Upton's 21st of September.
Erick Aybar struck out to end the inning.
Duffy threw 35 pitches in the frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0
Michael Fulmer is off to a good start tonight at Comerica Park, setting the Royals down in order in the opening frame.
Jarrod Dyson grounded out to first, Whit Merrifield struck out swinging and Eric Hosmer flew out to center field.
Fulmer threw just 12 pitches in the inning.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Cameron Maybin, CF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Erick Aybar, 3B
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Michael Fulmer, SP
1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
2. Whit Merrifield, 2B
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Kendrys Morales, DH
5. Paulo Orlando, RF
6. Alex Gordon, LF
7. Alcides Escobar, SS
8. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B
9. Drew Butera, C
Danny Duffy, SP
Royals lineup will be announced shortly
TIGERS VS. ROYALS
What: First of a three-game series
When: Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (10-7, 3.03) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (12-2, 3.18)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (Blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: Sirius, SIRI 209; XM, 89; SiriusXM, 89 (Internet 849)