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Royals 4, Tigers 3: Defense dooms Detroit early in close contest

Three errors by the Tigers put the Royals ahead early, keeping them from completing the late comeback efforts.

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

After an offensive explosion Thursday night, the Detroit Tigers couldn’t get the bats going against Kansas City Royals starter Ian Kennedy, dropping the second game of the final home series 4-3. Francisco Liriano toed the rubber for the Tigers, and although he wasn’t great, his defense let him down multiple times to screw up his final line while Kennedy cruised through seven innings only allowing two earned runs.

To no one’s surprise, Liriano struggled out of the gate to sit down the mighty Royals. Following an error at second by Dawel Lugo, Alex Gordon drove in Adalberto Mondesi with a single to left field. He followed that up with a walk to Salvador Perez, a guy who walks in under three percent of his plate appearances. Luckily, there was no more damage in the first. In the third, Gordon drove in his second run of the game to put the Royals up 2-0.

But wait, there’s more! In the fourth, Liriano walked Jorge Bonifacio and then allowed a double to Rosell Herrera to score Bonifacio. A Christin Stewart error on the double allowed Herrera to get to third. Cam Gallagher took advantage of the error and drove home Herrera with a sacrifice fly to put the Royals up 4-0. Liriano wasn’t terrible, and got absolutely no help from his defense with three errors made behind him. He finished six innings allowing four runs, but only one was earned with two walks and four strikeouts to go with it.

The Tigers, playing catch up, started to chip away at the Royals lead in the fifth. Ronny Rodriguez led off the inning with a home run to left field. In the sixth, JaCoby Jones drove a solid single to center field and then was brought home on a double from Nicholas Castellanos to bring the score to 4-2. In the eighth, Castellanos struck again with a long double to center field drive in Pete Kozma to pull the Tigers within a run going into the final inning.

The bullpen of the Tigers tallied another three scoreless innings from the likes of Luis Coleman, Sandy Baez, and Daniel Stumpf, but their efforts would be in vain. The Tigers made it sort of interesting in the ninth, but a blown sacrifice bunt and back-to-back strikeouts from Lugo and pinch-hitter Jim Adduci ended the hope of a comeback.