Despite Francisco Lirano’s sterling outing, the Detroit Tigers fell victim to a late game breakdown against the Kansas City Royals, falling by a 4-2 score on Star Wars Night at Kauffman Stadium.
In what was largely a
lightsaber pitchers’ duel, the Tigers threatened throughout the middle innings of the game, putting men into scoring position in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth, only to fail in bringing any of them around to score. JaCoby Jones came to the plate in the eighth and roped a two-run, two-out double, giving the Tigers a new hope late in the game.
The bottom half of the inning saw the Royals strike back, loading the bases and scoring their first run off of a wild pitch. They would then even the score on a sacrifice fly from Whit Merrifield. A two-run single from Jorge Soler would give the Royals a 4-2 lead and the high ground they needed to secure their second win of the series.
Strong showing from Francisco
The force awakened for Liriano, as he turned in his best performance of the season to this point, allowing only three hits and surrendering two walks while striking out five batters. delivered first pitch strikes to 20 of the 23 batters he faced. He would record a no decision for his efforts.
Scoring position woes
The Tigers 1-for-9 on the night with men in scoring position, while stranding seven men on base. Opportunities to score these runners were plentiful, but fell by the wayside, brought to a head as Royals’ starter Ian Kennedy struck out the side in the fifth inning after he allowed the first two men to reach base.
These are not the pitchers you’re looking for
In relief of Liriano, Daniel Stumpf and Joe Jimenez gave way to a bullpen blowup of Death Star proportions, surrendering a combined three hits and three runs. Jimenez’s outing was a bit of a rogue one, as he showed little command over any of his pitches, particularly his slider, while finding the zone with little accuracy. Stumpf was credited with a hold and the loss, while Jimenez was given a blown save.
The Tigers will continue their series with the Royals tomorrow afternoon, with Jordan Zimmermann set to do battle with Jason Hammel. First pitch is set for 4:15 p.m eastern at Kauffman Stadium. You can tune into the action on Fox Sports 1 or listen in on your local affiliate of the Detroit Tigers radio network.
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