Tigers blog: Tigers end losing skid, pounce Royals 4-1

Connor Muldowney
The Detroit News

The Tigers, in desperate need of a win after losing nine straight, took the series finale against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium Thursday night, 4-1.

Daniel Norris had one of his best outings of the season, showing promise for the future. Brad Ausmus only let him go five innings, needing just 54 pitches, while he allowed no runs and two hits while striking out one. He earned his fifth victory of the season. Shane Greene got the save.

Nick Castellanos gave him all the run support he needed with a three-RBI double in the fifth with the bases loaded. He finished the game 2-for-4 for the Tigers (63-96). Detroit scored all four of its runs in the fifth.

With the win, the Tigers officially avoid a 100-loss season.

Danny Duffy (4 1/3 innings) got the start for the Royals (78-81) and was knocked out of the game in the fifth. He allowed six hits, four earned runs and surrendered three walks. He also struck out four.

The Tigers begin their final series of the season on Friday in Minnesota. Matthew Boyd (6-10, 5.12 ERA) will go for Detroit while Kyle Gibson (12-10, 5.02) will take the mound for the Twins.

Bottom 9th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

Shane Greene entered the game looking for a save.

Alex Gordon grounded out to first. Whit Merrifield singled sharply to left. Lorenzo Cain then walked. Melky Cabrera then grounded into a game-ending double play.

Top 9th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

Kelvin Herrera took the mound for the Royals in the ninth.

Alex Presley lined one softly to a leaping Alcides Escobar at short who made a highlight-reel catch. JaCoby Jones then struck out swinging. Jose Iglesias grounded softly back to the pitcher for the final out.

Bottom 8th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

Drew VerHagen entered the game for the Tigers after a forgettable appearance on Wednesday night. Efren Navarro replaced John Hicks at first base.

Alcides Escobar flew out to deep center, but JaCoby Jones ran it down with ease. Cheslor Cuthbert singled into right. Paulo Orlando grounded into a big double play to third, ending the inning.

Top 8th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

John Hicks notched a single to left. Bryan Holaday popped out behind first base to Eric Hosmer in foul territory. Andrew Romine then hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the minor threat.

Bottom 7th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

Daniel Stumpf entered the game on the mound for the Tigers.

Melky Cabrera popped out to second. Eric Hosmer grounded out back to Stumpf who threw to first. Drew Butera then flew out to left center to end the inning.

Top 7th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

JaCoby Jones struck out swinging and Jose Iglesias flew out to center before Dixon Machado worked a two-out walk. Nick Castellanos singled to left and Machado advanced to third. That would end Kevin McCarthy's day as he was replaced by Ryan Buchter.

James McCann ended the top half with a fly out to right.

Bottom 6th: Tigers 4, Royals 1

Warwick Saupold relieved Daniel Norris to start the sixth.

Paulo Orlando took the fourth pitch he saw and placed it in the left-field seats for a solo home run. Alex Gordon grounded out softly to second. Whit Merrifield flew out down the right field line. Lorenzo Cain swung on the first pitch he saw and grounded out to second.

Top 6th: Tigers 4, Royals 0

Bryan Holaday flew out softly to right field, Andrew Romine grounded out to second after breaking his bat and Alex Presley struck out looking.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Daniel Norris throws in the first inning.

​Bottom 5th: Tigers 4, Royals 0

Drew Butera, a defensive replacement for Salvador Perez, led off the bottom half with a swinging strikeout. Alcides Escobar flew out to center. Cheslor Cuthbert then grounded out to third.

Top 5th: Tigers 4, Royals 0

Andrew Romine led things off with a walk. Alex Presley then singled to left. JaCoby Jones grounded through the left side of the infield for a single and an RBI as Romine beat the throw home for the first score of the evening. Jose Iglesias then popped out to third. Dixon Machado walked to load the bases with one out.

Nick Castellanos then hit a deep fly ball to left that bounced off the wall which scored all three runners. Danny Duffy's day would end after the Castellanos double. Kevin McCarthy would replace him.

James McCann grounded out to short and John Hicks then grounded out to third.

Bottom 4th: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Lorenzo Cain singled on a ground ball through the left side of the infield. Melky Cabrera then grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing Cain out at second. Eric Hosmer then grounded into a double play to third.

Top 4th: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Nick Casteallnos grounded out to third and James McCann lined out to short. John Hicks then worked a two-out walk. Hicks then stole second with Bryan Holaday batting. He then struck out swinging.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Cheslor Cuthbert flew out to center. Paulo Orlando recorded the Royals' first hit of the game, doubling to left. Alex Gordon flew out to right, advancing Orlando to third. Whit Merrifield then lined out to center.

Top 3rd: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Andrew Romine led off the third with a soft single on a fly ball to right. Alex Presley then flew out to center. JaCoby Jones struck out looking on a questionable strike three. Jose Iglesias singled to right, moving Romine to second. Dixon Machado ended the threat by popping out behind the plate.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Eric Hosmer got ahead 3-0, but swung at the next pitch and grounded out sharply to second. Salvador Perez grounded out sharply to Jose Iglesias at short. Alcides Escobar flew out to left center to end the inning.

Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Royals 0

James McCann led off the second with a single to right. John Hicks was then called out on strikes after working a full count. Bryan Holaday grounded into a double play to end the top half.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Daniel Norris got the ball for the Tigers.

Whit Merrifield nearly led off the bottom half with a home run down the left field line, but it drifted just foul. He then grounded out to second. Lorenzo Cain grounded out softly to second. Melky Cabrera lined out to third.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0

Danny Duffy took the mound for the Royals in search of his 10th win.

Jose Iglesias led off with a popup into foul territory behind first base for an out. Dixon Machado grounded out softly to second and Nick Castellanos struck out swinging.

The Detroit Tigers on Thursday night will try to avoid an imperfect 10.

The Tigers lug a nine-game losing streak into their game against the Kansas City Royals, capping a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is at 8:15 p.m.

The also remain in range to reach 100 losses, should they lose their final four games.

After getting hammered in a four-game sweep at the hands of the playoff-bound Twins, who outscored them by a whopping 27 runs combined in the series, the Tigers have at least been competitive against the Royals, owning leads in both games before falling.

Left-hander Daniel Norris (4-8, 5-59 ERA) takes the hill for the Tigers, making his second straight start after four relief appearances following a stint on the disabled list. Norris gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk Sept. 22 against the Twins.

The Royals counter with lefty Danny Duffy (9-9, 3.68 ERA), who's making his third start since a DL stint. He's allowed three earned runs in 11 innings combined in his past two starts, fanning 10.


First pitch: 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM

Records: The Tigers are 62-96, fifth place in the American League Central Division, 37.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians. The Royals are 78-80, third place in the AL Central, 21.5 games behind the Indians.


1. Jose Iglesias, SS

2. Dixon Machado, 2B

3. Nick Castellanos, RF

4. James McCann, DH

5. John Hicks, 1B

6. Bryan Holaday, C

7. Andrew Romine, 3B

8. Alex Presley, LF

9. JaCoby Jones, CF

SP: Daniel Norris, LHP


1. Whit Merrifield, 2B

2. Lorenzo Cain, CF

3. Melky Cabrera, RF

4. Eric Hosmer, 1B

5. Salvador Perez, C

6. Alcides Escobar, SS

7. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B

8. Paulo Orlando, CF

9. Alex Gordon, LF

SP: Danny Duffy, LHP


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