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Tigers 3, Royals 1: Tyson Ross, Christin Stewart come through to cap off sweep

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The Tigers stayed in first place by winning their fifth consecutive game on Sunday.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers capped off their first series sweep of the season, winning a 3-1 matchup against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on Sunday. Christin Stewart drove in a pair of runs, and Tyson Ross threw seven excellent innings to lead the Tigers to their fifth win in a row.

The Royals struck early, scoring in the top of the first inning. Whit Merrifield doubled to open the game, then scored on an RBI groundout from Alex Gordon. After a scoreless bottom half of the inning, the Tigers took the lead in the second. Jeimer Candelario walked to lead off the inning, and Stewart tripled to score Candelario and tie the game. Stewart scored later in the inning when Gordon Beckham grounded into a double play, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

The Tigers’ defense nearly gave away that lead in the top of the third. After speedster Billy Hamilton reached base on a one-out single, an errant throw from John Hicks went into center field. However, Hamilton collided with second baseman Josh Harrison on his slide, and did not advance. Harrison then compounded the issue by diving across the second base bag to field what would have been a routine groundout to Jordy Mercer, but Ross bailed out his infield by inducing a strikeout and a fly out to end the threat.

The defense got a lot better from there, though. Niko Goodrum cut down Cam Gallagher in the fifth with a great throw from center field when the Royals catcher tried to stretch a single into a double. Hicks then threw out Hamilton on another steal attempt later that inning, and Nicholas Castellanos chipped in with a nice running grab to end the frame. Jordy Mercer continued the run in the sixth with a running backhand and throw to first to retire Alex Gordon.

Ross did plenty on his own, though. The lanky righthander racked up eight strikeouts, his highest total since May 23, 2018, and only walked one batter. He induced 13 swinging strikes, 11 on his slider, and threw 91 pitches in all.

The Tigers added a third run in the sixth to pad their lead. Castellanos doubled off the wall in right center to lead off the inning, and advanced to third on a seeing-eye single from Miguel Cabrera. After Royals starter Brad Keller retired Goodrum and Candelario, Stewart came through with a two-out single up the middle to drive in Castellanos, making it 3-1.

The last two innings weren’t drama-free, though. Billy Hamilton and Whit Merrifield singled with one out in the eighth against Joe Jimenez, putting runners at first and third. The defense came through again, though, as Hicks threw out Merrifield for the second out of the inning. Gordon Beckham then made a nice pick at first base to retire Adalberto Mondesi to end the threat. Shane Greene worked around a two-out walk for his seventh save of the year — with some help from a diving catch by Goodrum, since defense ruled the day — which leads all of baseball.

Up next

The Tigers have an off day on Monday before they welcome the Cleveland Indians to town. Jordan Zimmermann and Corey Kluber are scheduled to face off on Tuesday evening.

Poll

Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Tyson Ross
    (383 votes)
  • 26%
    Christin Stewart
    (182 votes)
  • 18%
    John Hicks
    (132 votes)
697 votes total Vote Now