Seven innings into Wednesday's game with the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers looked doomed to their fourth consecutive loss and a 15 1/2 game deficit in the standings. Instead, the Tigers offense awakened for five runs in the final two innings and they beat the Royals in comeback fashion, 7-4.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, scoring a run in the top of the first inning for their first lead of the series. Anthony Gose led off the game with a single, then Jose Iglesias reached base when the Royals' middle infield decided to not play defense on a routine grounder back to the mound. After a fly ball from Ian Kinsler moved Gose to third, Victor Martinez scored Gose on a sacrifice fly to center. The Tigers doubled their lead in the second inning when Nick Castellanos hit a single back through the box to score Tyler Collins, who had doubled to start the frame. Jefry Marte walked to put two runners aboard, but a double play off the bat of James McCann all but ended the threat.
After a pair of scoreless innings from Tigers starter Daniel Norris, the Royals offense finally got in gear in the third. Alex Rios doubled to lead off the inning, then Alcides Escobar hit a two-out triple to left-center. Escobar scored on the same play when the relay throw from Iglesias skipped past Castellanos at third base. The Royals took the lead in the fourth inning with a pair of runs, putting them up 4-2. Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with a double and a stolen base, then scored on a double to left from Eric Hosmer. Norris walked two batters to load the bases, but only allowed one more run on a sacrifice fly from Omar Infante.
Kansas City took their two-run lead into the eighth inning, when the Tigers offense finally figured out Volquez. They loaded the bases with no outs, but Ned Yost opted to stay with his starter as a red-hot Kinsler stepped into the box. The show of faith backfired in a big way. Kinsler whistled a double down the left field line to score McCann and Gose, tying the game.
Yost went to his bullpen, and Kelvin Herrera induced a pop-out from Victor Martinez for the first out of the frame. J.D. Martinez, who was hitless in three prior at-bats, gave the Tigers the lead with an RBI single on the next play. The Tigers doubled their lead in the next at-bat, as Kinsler scored from third on a close play at the plate. Tyler Collins hit a grounder to Hosmer, who threw home. However, Kinsler was able to slide under Drew Butera's tag, and the Royals did not challenge.
After a scoreless eighth from the Tigers' bullpen, the offense added an insurance run with a two-out rally. Kinsler reached base on a single to center, then Victor Martinez lined a double off the right field wall. Bruce Rondon made things a little interesting in the ninth when he put a couple of runners on base, but retired the side in the ninth for his second save of the year.
Daniel Norris: His final line wasn't pretty, but Norris showed a lot of resolve tonight, working out of trouble in the third and fifth innings. He walked three batters and struck out two, but earned a quality start with three runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings.
The offense: It took a while for them to really get going, but a seven-run night is exactly what this Tigers team needed. Every Tigers hitter reached base at least once, and
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Anthony Gose struck out in the top of the second inning, his 93rd punchout of the season. He has struck out in eight consecutive games, and has fanned 15 times in 44 August plate appearances.
- Jefry Marte walked in the second inning, his fourth base on balls of the month. He has reached base safely in eight consecutive games.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: