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Royals 8, Tigers 5: Bullpen spoils Detroit’s chance at series win

The Tigers’ bullpen combined to cough up five runs in a disappointing loss.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Liriano took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his start against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Six batters later, Liriano was done for the day and Detroit’s 2-0 lead had become a 5-2 deficit. While the Tigers would tie the score in the bottom of the inning, Kansas City added three more runs off of Detroit’s relievers to win an 8-5 contest at Comerica Park.

Liriano was charged with three runs, but only one — a Whit Merrifield solo home run — came when he was on the mound. Liriano departed with two runners left on base, and Alex Wilson allowed them to score when Abraham Almonte took him deep for a grand slam to give the Royals the lead. Drew VerHagen only faced three batters in the seventh, walking two, and Buck Farmer let them both score when he served up a three-run homer to Mike Moustakas.

The Tigers’ offense had a fair day at the plate. They scored a pair of runs in the first off Royals starter Eric Skoglund, a lead they would keep until the bullpen hijinks later on. Leonys Martin was hit by the third pitch Skoglund threw, and Jeimer Candelario moved Martin to third on a hustle double. A Miguel Cabrera groundout and Nicholas Castellanos single scored the two runs.

After Wilson coughed up the lead, the Tigers struck back in the bottom of the sixth. Candelario and Cabrera walked to end Skoglund’s day, and Castellanos singled home Candelario to make it 5-3. JaCoby Jones continued his hot streak with an RBI single, and James McCann tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Unfortunately, that would be all the offense the Tigers could muster. Dixon Machado was left stranded after a double to lead off the seventh inning, and Castellanos was eliminated on a Victor Martinez double play ball after Castellanos singled to start the eighth. The Tigers went 1-2-3 against Royals closer Kelvin Herrera in the ninth.

Alex Wilson: worst reliever in baseball?

While this seems hyperbolic, the numbers don’t lie. Wilson has allowed more barrels per batted ball event than any other pitcher in baseball (minimum 25 batted balls), and that number likely went up with Almonte’s grand slam today. His ERA is now up to 6.57, and would be higher were it not for two of those runners belonging to Francisco Liriano. Wilson’s usually excellent command hasn’t been there either — he has five walks in just 12 13 innings this year.

Nick Castellanos, so hot right now

After missing out on a three-homer day by just a few feet on Saturday, Castellanos had three hits and a pair of RBI in this game. He is batting .309 with an .821 OPS this season, and we’ll likely see those numbers improve next week with how well he is seeing the ball right now.


Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Nicholas Castellanos (3-4, 2 RBI)
    (320 votes)
  • 0%
    Miguel Cabrera (1-3, RBI)
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeimer Candelario (1-3, 2 R)
    (3 votes)
  • 22%
    Francisco Liriano (5.1 IP, 3 ER)
    (93 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now