DETROIT -- Winning streaks haven't been a strength for the Detroit Tigers this year. After finally getting a four-gamer for the first time since the season started, Alfredo Simon and the bullpen blew it up and the offense couldn't recover. The Tigers may have taken the series but they dropped the finale 10-3 to the Kansas City Royals in blowout fashion.
Simon walked to the mound, kicked dirt, wiped dirt off his shoes, adjusted his cap, looked at ball, rotated the ball in his hand, tugged at his shirt, looked at the batter, nodded, adjusted his belt, re-tied shoelaces, tightened the glove strings, looked at the sky, said a prayer, started his motion, paused, and delivered a pitch.
That was about how Simon's start felt every time he delivered a pitch to home plate. Not only was he slow, he was awful. After giving up two runs in the first on four hits, he allowed a leadoff homer in the third and a two-run shot three batters later, then another home run to Kendrys Morales in the fourth. One hour and 33 minutes later, Simon had four innings pitched and a 6-3 deficit.
The outs Simon recorded were ... interesting. He'd given up 11 hits but he also caught a batter attempting to steal and two runners were picked off. The CS was of the rather interesting 1-3-6-1-(plunk)-4 variety in which Simon hit Lorenzo Cain in the back on the throw to Andrew Romine. This series with the Royals has been anything but dull.
There were a few hits by the Tigers and they even put up a three-run spot in the third. But they left eight on-base and had seven hits in all. If anyone deserves a round of applause it's Anthony Gose, who got on-base four times. Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos reached twice, as did Andrew Romine who was filling in for Ian Kinsler -- he had the day off.
Anthony Gose: It wasn't flashy, but Gose reached base in four of his five plate appearances. He walked twice in the first and third innings, singled to center in the seventh, and reached on a fielder's choice in the fourth. He struck out in the ninth.
Victor Martinez: Got a walk and a single, which scored the second run of the day for the Tigers.
Nick Castellanos: Drove in the third run in the third, and also reached on a fielder's choice in the second.
Alfredo Simon: In just 4 1/3 innings pitched, Simon gave up eight runs (all earned) on 13 (!!!) hits, walked three, struck out three, allowed three home runs, a sac bunt, and a sac fly.
Tigers offense: Just five hits recorded and they left six men on-base. Miguel Cabrera, while he drove in the first run on a single in the third, grounded into a 6-3 inning-ending play in the fourth that stranded a pair of runners. Only one of the three walks came around to score.
Tigers bullpen: For run of the mill awfulness. The Tigers had cut the deficit to within two runs and the bullpen -- and Simon -- gave it right back. Both Jose Valdez and Jeff Ferrell gave up a run and Valdez walked two and allowed three hits. Ferrell allowed the Morales homer that set a new record for the Royals.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- In six of his last 10 starts, Alfredo Simon has given up four or more runs and four of those starts he gave up at least six runs. He's the first Tigers pitcher since Scott Sanders in 1998 to give up 13 or more hits and eight or more runs in less than five innings pitched.
- The Tigers pitching staff gave up a total of 15 bases to Kendrys Morales, one shy of tying the Tigers' club record that was established for allowing a number of bases to a player. The record was set by Fred Lynn when he had a total of 16 against Detroit.
- Only three players have three-homer games at Comerica Park: Miguel Cabrera (May 28, 2010), Dmitri Young (April 4, 2005), and Morales.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: