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Bats go limp in series finale: Royals 2, Tigers 1

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Final - 9.5.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Kansas City Royals 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 6 1
WP: Kyle Davies (7 - 9)
SV: Joakim Soria (37)
LP: Brad Thomas (5 - 2)

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You've got to hand it to Armando Galarraga. For awhile, he didn't look like he'd make it out of the first inning. Brad Thomas was warming up in the bullpen. There were meetings on the mound, runners on the bases. What a mess. Then a ground-rule double that made it into the stands after Brennan Boesch had troubles fielding it in the sun sported KC a 1-0 lead.

The second inning hardly went better, but he escaped after forcing a dobule play. The pattern continued throughout the afternoon: a parade of walks, hits and trips to the mound but no damage to show for it.

When Galarraga finally exited the game -- through after just five innings -- he left the Tigers with a 1-1 tie. So it was ugly. It was timid. It was a 5-hit, four-walk day with just two strikeouts. It was Galarraga making a slide backward. Yet it was a game pitched well enough to give Galarraga's team a chance to win.

They just couldn't walk through the door. Casper Wells knotted it at 1-1 in the top half of the fifth inning with a home run -- the second of his career. Then with two outs, the Tigers rallied to load the bases on a pair of walks and an error. Unfortunately, Johnny Damon continued his struggles with runners in scoring position and struck out swinging.

Alex Gordon promptly broke the tie in the sixth inning when he deposited the first pitch Brad Thomas delivered into the stands for a 2-1 Royals lead.

The Tigers failed to threaten or score the rest of the night, going nine-up and nine-down the final three innings. In fact they compiled just three hits for the day.

Notes:

Update: Galarraga said he felt some pain by his elbow.

A walk's as good as hit! Isn't that what they say? However, Will Rhymes saw his streak of consecutive games with a hit end at 12 today, as he went 0-for-1 with three walks. His streak was the longest by a Tigers rookie since Omar Infante had a 12-gamer in 2002. It's the ninth-longest as a Tigers rookie since 1953.

Detroit finished the road trip 5-5. They'll host the White Sox at 1 p.m. on Monday.

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark wrote in his column this week that Austin Jackson should be the favorite to win the AL Rookie the Year.