The Detroit Tigers opened up the first game of a four game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The duo of Mike Fiers, who started the game, and Chad Bell gave up 10 combined runs in a 10-6 loss. The offense provided plenty of support to keep them in the game throughout, but Bell made sure the game was out of reach.
The Tigers failed to threaten young lefty Eric Skoglund, who opposed Fiers, in the first inning. In the bottom half, Fiers got himself into trouble right out of the gate and put the Tigers in a battle, giving up a leadoff single to Whit Merrifield. Fiers also gave up two more singles to Lucas Duda and Jon Jay that that each allowed a run to before he finally recorded the the third out.
Jose Iglesias and Leonys Martin jumpstarted the offense with a pair of singles in the top of the third inning. Jeimer Candelario followed that with a double to left field to score both men and tie it up. The bottom of the inning was frustrating, as Fiers allowed Mike Moustakas to double before letting his fastball leak over the plate to Savaldor Perez, who crushed it for a home run, putting the Royals up by two again.
John Hicks doubled on a first-pitch changeup from Skoglund to try getting the offense going in the top o the fourth. McCann followed with a single to put them one run away from tying it up but that was all they’d put up in the inning. Fiers gave up a home run in the bottom half but was able to end the inning without further damage.
Castellanos put the Tigers again in a one-run game after he blasted his third home run of the season in the top of the fifth. Hicks and McCann both took walks to put a man in scoring position, ending Skoglund’s night. He gave way to Scott Barlow, who surrendered a single to Iglesias, which tied the game. In the bottom of the inning, Chad Bell replaced Fiers and look bad as well. He surrendered a leadoff home run to Jorge Soler, giving the Royals the lead. Bell followed that up by allowing Perez to double and Duda to drive him in, putting the Royals on top by two again. Bell escaped the inning without further damage, but the Tigers offense would again have to answer.
Singles from Martin and Cabrera got the Tigers going again in the top of the sixth. Castellanos again came through with a single to add a run, However, Cabrera seemed to injure his hamstring while advancing to second, and was pulled from the game. Bell returned for the bottom half of the sixth and allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters. He then walked Soler before allowing a sacrifice fly to Moustakas. Bell was removed and gave way to Warwick Saupold, who walked Perez and gave up a single to Duda that scored another run before retiring the final batter of the sixth.
The score was 10-6 at that point. That’s where it would remain, despite the combination of Saupold and Johnny Barbato giving the Tigers two innings while only allowing one run. The offense couldn’t add on any more runs against a below-average Royals bullpen. Hopes were crushed again by Kelvin Herrera in the ninth, one of the better closers in the American League.
Highlight of the night:
#Blastellanos doing #Blastellanos things like crushing baseballs.
#Tigers @ #Royals— Ballpark Videos (@BallparkVids) May 3, 2018
Nick Castellanos lines a solo home run down the left-field line, just clearing the outfield wall to cut into the Tigers' deficit (00:35)
MLB Gameday: https://t.co/EqHopXVqo6 pic.twitter.com/rOZaBQ9zam
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