Detroit — Manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game Saturday that starting pitcher Matt Moore will be placed on the injured list on Sunday and Daniel Norris will slide into the Tigers’ rotation for the time being.
Moore strained his right knee in the third inning of the Tigers’ 7-4 win over the Royals.
“He was throwing really good, so that’s tough,” Gardenhire said. “It’s tough for him and for the ballclub. But you have to go through these things. I’m sure he’s more disappointed than anybody in the world because he’s been feeling good and throwing real good.
“But we’ll just give him some time here. They’ll let us know how much time and we will go from there.”
Moore worked three innings and allowed just one hit Saturday, running his scoreless innings streak with the Tigers to 10. But after dispatching the first eight Royals hitters Saturday, he made a sliding play to field a bunt by Billy Hamilton. He bobbled the ball and then threw wildly from his knees past first base.
He threw one more pitch, getting Whit Merrifield to ground out and end the third innings. But his day was over.
“He went to pick it up and as he turned, he felt something, he said, in his knee,” Gardenhire said. “He came in after the inning and was limping. He looked like he wasn’t very comfortable. We took into the (batting) cage to test it.
“He threw one pitch and didn’t feel good. That was it.”
Norris took over, and Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson were already planning to slide Norris into Moore’s rotation spot. That’s partly when they tried to extend him to a fourth inning.
“We probably left him out there a little too long, obviously,” Gardenhire said. “But he’s going in the rotation and we had to get his pitch count up over 50.”
He finished at exactly 50 pitches, but the final few were costly.
Norris’ first three innings were strong. He gave up a home run to his own personal nemesis Merrifield (it was the third homer he’s allowed to him), but still took a 2-1 lead into the seventh.
But he didn’t get another out.
Jorge Soler hit his first pitch in the seventh inning 401 feet over the bullpen in left field. Frank Schwindel followed with his first big-league hit. Norris was lifted for right-hander Victor Alcantara, who ended up giving up a 434-foot bomb to Hunter Dozier.
“We probably should have got him out of there, especially with who they had coming up (three right-handed hitters),” Gardenhire said. “But, we did it, we got him stretched out.”
The Tigers will make a corresponding move when they put Moore on the injured list. Most likely, they will recall right-hander Drew VerHagen, who is on a rehab assignment in Lakeland.”