Jordan Zimmermann, who was making his first start in 12 days after getting extra rest over the All-Star break — he also received a nerve block injection in his neck over the break — did not look as sharp as he had the two months prior. He struggled with his command early on and gave up hard contact all night, including two home runs. The first home run came just three batters into the game when Mike Moustakas took him deep. Up 2-0 early, the Royals would score two more runs off him as Zimmermann labored over five innings. Buck Farmer came on in the sixth and allowed a double, which would come around to score on an error by Jose Iglesias, putting the Tigers down 5-0.
On the other side, Burch Smith, a reliever all year for the Royals until recently — this was his third start of the year — baffled the Tigers for six innings. He gave up just a single hit to Niko Goodrum while striking out six.
However, just like Monday, the Tigers simply mounted their comeback against the worst bullpen in the American League. After two walks in the seventh, Smith was taken out of the game for sidearmer Tim Hill to face Victor Martinez. Victor battled Hill for nine pitches and sent the 10th one over the wall for a three-run home run to put the Tigers right back in the game, now down 5-3. The home run for Victor was his first since May 19.
Farmer and Jimenez held the Royals off the board for another two innings to send the game to the ninth. In the top of the inning, facing closer Wily Peralta, the Tigers got a one-out triple from Nicholas Castellanos, who would score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jeimer Candelario to make it 5-4. But the comeback was foiled as Martinez flew out harmlessly to end the game.
With the series tied at one, the Tigers will go for their first series win since sweeping the White Sox in Chicago on June 17. Matthew Boyd will take the mound for the Tigers to face familiar foe Danny Duffy, starting at 2:15 p.m., ET.
Who is the Tigers player of the Game?
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Victor Martinez - HR, 3 RBI
Nicholas Castellanos - 3B, R
Joe Jimenez - 1IP, 1H. 3K