The Detroit Tigers’ reserve-filled lineup was no match for a healthy Kansas City Royals team on Sunday, as they dropped their third of four against the Royals in this weekend’s series finale, 4-2.
First and foremost, this was not a healthy lineup. Nicholas Castellanos did not start due to the flu, Jeimer Candelario did not play with a jammed thumb, James McCann received the day off, and, of course, Miguel Cabrera is on the 10-day disabled list. So, Jose Iglesias — who is playing on a bad ankle and with the flu — batted second, Victor Martinez batted third, and John Hicks batted fourth — though, to be fair, he played fantastically, hitting two singles and a home run. The team was missing its three biggest stars in the lineup and it showed.
Now, that does not excuse the Tigers poor performance with runners in scoring position today. The Tigers had seven hits, yet they only scored early on a Hicks solo home run in the fourth inning and a single, also from Hicks, in the eighth. Victor Martinez, who was 5-for-7 in the series entering today, particularly struggled, as he left five on base. Overall, the Tigers stranded nine baserunners.
The team’s performance when the Royals threatened was equally miserable. In the third inning, with Jorge Soler and Whit Merrifield on first and second base respectively, Niko Goodrum did not cover third base when the defense shifted. Merrifield took advantage of this, and he swiped his seventh bag of the year. Merrifield had already stolen third in the first inning and scored on a sacrifice fly. Shortly after, nobody covered second base as Soler followed in Merrifield’s footsteps and swiped a bag. Merrifield finished with three stolen bases on the day as the Tigers continuously struggled to hold runners.
Hicks was, without a doubt, the player of the game. He continues to stay hot, as he knocked in the Tigers only two runs. He finished today going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and his third home run of the year. He is now batting .292 on the season with a .902 OPS. Also, speaking of catchers being a bright spot in today’s game, Grayson Greiner made his major-league debut behind the dish today for the Tigers and was able to notch his first hit today with his family in attendance. He finished the day going 1-for-4.
Outside of a stressful third inning, Matthew Boyd was very reliable. In the first inning, he allowed a double, steal, and sacrifice fly as Merrifield put the Royals on the board. Later in the third, he gave up three hits and a walk as the Royals put up three runs in a major two-out rally. Outside of the third inning, however, Boyd surrendered only three hits and struck out three. He finished going seven innings, allowing four runs, six hits, and one walk while striking out five. He left today’s game with a 3.00 ERA.
Tweet of the Game
Fourth walk of the season, first since April 7, 93 plate appearances https://t.co/ElOYLNiNoF— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) May 6, 2018
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
John Hicks (3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
Matthew Boyd (7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)