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Royals 4, Tigers 1: Detroit threatened, but (almost) did not score

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A game whose only early drama was whether a no-hitter would be thrown featured one of the more dramatic at-bats of the season for Detroit.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

There is no joy in Motown -- Mighty Miggy has struck out. With the bases loaded and himself the go-ahead run at home plate Friday night, Miguel Cabrera stared down Kelvin Herrera as the Royals' fireballer touched 100 mph on the radar gun with routine. Cabrera swung six times in the first nine pitches, fouling off each while watching three balls go by safely. On the 10th pitch, a 99 mph offering, Cabrera failed to make contact. That, not the drama of a Royals' no-hitter taken into the eighth inning, is what we will remember in Detroit's 4-1 defeat at Kauffman Stadium.

The outlook wasn't good for the first seven innings. Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein was hittable early, with defense behind him suddenly looking shaky after being so strong early. The game was 3-0 by the end of the first inning and 4-0 through two, the score kept low with the assistance of Christian Colon running into an out at third and Mike Moustakas lining out to Lobstein, ending a threat.

Chris Young, meanwhile, making a spot start for the Royals, refused to give up a hit. Oh, he gave up walks. Three in the fourth inning loaded the bases, only for J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes to strike out back to back to end the threat. Young managed five innings before he ran out of pitches, but he struck out nine during his day of work. Two innings of hitless baseball by Ryan Madson kept Detroit off the board until the eighth inning, and things began to look really bad.

But Herrera struggled. Those are words you don't often use to describe the Royals bullpen. Alex Avila walked, then Nick Castellanos broke up the no-hit bid. An infield single by Jose Iglesias loaded the bases, and Anthony Gose grounded out up the middle to at least get a run in. A walk by Ian Kinsler later set up Cabrera's big moment.

But even the best hitter in the game fails, and the Tigers scored no more.

Roars

Nick Castellanos -- Broke up the no hitter with a single to left.

Kyle Lobstein (sorta!) -- Managed to stay in the game until the eighth inning after a shaky start. He allowed the Tigers a chance to get back in the game. He did, however, allow 10 hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings.

Innings 8-9 -- Drama! After a poor start the Tigers twice had a chance to push the game-tying run across but just couldn't get it done.

Rob Rogacki -- Seriously, the preview was spot on.

Hisses

Tigers defense -- Yikes. Between Anthony Gose's throws and Alex Avila's reception of what should have been an out at home plate, the fielding was not as we'd gotten used to early on this season.

Innings 1-7 -- No hits, no runs, four runs allowed, bad defense. Oy. Pretty much everything awful.

Streaks and Stats
  • 0 -- The Tigers have yet to be shut out in 2015.
  • 0-for-16 -- The Tigers' top five in the batting order failed to get a hit.
  • 12 strikeouts. -- Every player in the Tigers' batting order struck out at least once in the game.
  • 31 strikeouts. -- J.D. Martinez struck out three times himself, giving him 31 in 100 plate appearances this season. His average fell to .250.
  • .221 average -- Victor Martinez fell to .221 on the year after going 0-for-3. On a 2-0 pitch he flew out to left field to end the Tigers' threat in the eighth inning.
Win Probability Graph


Source: FanGraphs