Starting pitcher Tyson Ross did not make it out of the second inning, and the Detroit Tigers dropped the second game of their weekend series against the Kansas City Royals in ugly fashion on Saturday afternoon. Ross recorded just four outs while allowing five runs on seven hits and a pair of walks for his fourth loss of the season.
The Royals jumped on Ross early. Whit Merrifield lined a sharp ground ball past Jeimer Candelario for a double to open the game. The Tigers appeared poised to escape the early jam when Merrifield was erased on an ill-advised bunt attempt by Adalberto Mondesi with zero outs, but Alex Gordon followed up with a two-run home run to left field to give Kansas City an early lead. Ross allowed three more Royals hits before recording his second out, and a Martin Maldonado single after that before finally retiring Billy Hamilton to get out of the first inning. The damage? Four runs on six hits before the Tigers even came to bat.
Things didn’t get any better in the second. Ross walked Merrifield on four pitches to open the inning, then Mondesi tripled for a fifth Royals run. After Ross walked Hunter Dozier on four pitches with one out, manager Ron Gardenhire went to his bullpen. Reed Garrett momentarily stopped the bleeding by inducing an inning-ending double play, but surrendered a pair of doubles and three walks in the third as Kansas City built their lead up to 7-0.
The Tigers momentarily made it interesting in the bottom of the third. Harold Castro singled in his first career at-bat at Comerica Park, and Candelario hooked a 3-1 pitch just inside the foul poll in right field for a two-run homer. Nicholas Castellanos singled following Candelario’s home run, bringing up Miguel Cabrera with one out. Were the big man to find the seats, the Tigers would have been within three runs, making this a completely different game.
Alas, Cabrera grounded out softly, and Niko Goodrum could not capitalize either. The Royals added two more runs in the fifth, and six more in the eighth before Ronny Rodriguez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth. All seven of those runs came as we were penning this recap, and served mostly to annoy the BYB staff for having to change the headline several times before publishing.
Those reading this early will notice that it has gone live before the game even ends. When the Tigers pull off a miraculous ninth inning comeback... you’re welcome.