Daniel Norris was up-and-down and Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler were unstoppable... but at least Drew VerHagen looked (mostly) sharp. In the end the Tigers and Royals split the four-game weekend series as KC took the Sunday game 10-2.
Whit Merrifield started off the game like he did on Friday night with a leadoff home run; unlike a couple of days ago, though, this one was over the fence. An out later, Dozier followed suit with a no-doubter. Not good, Danny.
Niko Goodrum returned the favour in the bottom of the first, sneaking one just inside the foul (fair?) pole. From July 14 through yesterday, in 106 plate appearances he’s had an OPS of .863; I realize that isn’t a fantastic number, but after the previous month-ish over which his OPS was .606, I’ll take it.
After Dozier’s dinger, Norris whiffed the next four hitters; baseball’s funny like that. But as the top of the order came back around in the third, a Dozier triple was followed by Soler’s first home run, his 34th of the year, to make it 4-1. Gordan Beckham doubled and Goodrum singled to narrow the gap to 4-2.
After three innings, 80 pitches, four hits and four runs, Norris gave way to Drew VerHagen... who promptly cruised through four blissfully uneventful innings. The only baserunner through four was Soler, who VerHagen hit.
Jakob Junis, on the other hand, threw six innings and largely avoided trouble. Perhaps the Royals are limiting his work this year; he threw 85 pitches and ended smoothly, but he was relieved by Scott Barlow. (No information at this time as to whether or not he’s related to Dinosaur Jr’s Lou Barlow. We’ll get on that.)
Dozier turned around VerHagen’s first pitch of the eighth and snuck it over the left-field fence; Soler then clubbed #35 a long way to left-centre to go back-to-back. Before today’s game, the Royals had hit 120 home runs; Soler had 33 of them, which is 27.5% of their total. Since he is one twenty-fifth of their roster (4.0%), I would say he is definitely hitting a lot of Kansas City’s home runs this year.
Tyler Alexander started the ninth: single, double, single, dropped pop fly, showers.
Nick Ramirez then came in to try to clean up the mess.
Oh well. At least he’s good at putt-putt golf.
News and Notes
- In Norris’ four starts before today, he logged 21 innings to the tune of a 3.00 ERA. C’mon, Daniel, you were doing so well!
- Coming into today’s game, Travis Demeritte was 6 for his previous 17. This includes a double, a triple and a home run; his OPS was 1.134. Today he went 1 for 3 with a single.
- Today is Eric Carmen’s 70th birthday. You probably know him from his solo hit “Hungry Eyes” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, but he was also in a 1970s power-pop group called The Raspberries. Definitely worth checking out.
Before the game, Craig Monroe was given the Willie Horton African-American Legacy Award. This is the Negro Leagues weekend, and as you might have seen, the Tigers wore snappy Detroit Stars uniforms last night. C-Mo’s threads for today’s ceremony were, as expected, very sharp. Congrats!