Let’s start out with the obvious, here. The Detroit Tigers did not win the first game in their four-game series against the Kansas City Royals. KC, who are off to a hot start and inexplicably are winning the AL Central, just came off their first series loss of the season against the Rays, and they were not looking to repeat the experience.
As such, I’m going to introduce a new recap feature if you don’t want to grind through the whole recap...
TL;DR: Tigers Lost; Didn’t Read:
Here’s what you need to know. The Royals did most of their damage in the fifth inning, having previously only held a two-run lead off of home runs from Benintendi and O’Hearn; in the fifth they added four extra RBIs from Lopez, Merrifield, and Soler. Robbie Grossman scored both of the Tigers runs in the game with a two-run shot off Minor. Casey Mize had a decent inning but it started to crumble as he went along, and he ended the night with 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HR on 85 pitches. Tyler Alexander had a rocking 5-pitch inning in the sixth, you love to see it. Zack Short got his first big league hit.
Now onto the full recap, for those who want to punish themselves.
Casey Mize started out the game with a decent first inning, giving up only one walk to Santana before putting the side down. Mike Minor saw three Tigers in the bottom of the inning, then sent them back to the dugout in order.
Mize started to show signs of trouble in the second, starting the inning with a walk to O’Hearn, but the baserunning threat was eliminated by a quick double play. All the better, because then Andrew Benintendi came up and got the first run of the game with a solo home run. In the bottom of the second the Tigers were once again quiet at-bat completing the “out trifecta” of strike, line, and ground.
Casey Mize settled himself a little in the top of the third, facing only three batters and allowing no walks. Unfortunately in the bottom of the inning the Tigers were once again unable to make any magic happen against Minor, and the score remained 1-0 Royals.
In the fourth, Mize gave up a single to Perez, and once again got lucky that the baserunner was immediately erased by a double play. And again, the timing couldn’t be better, because the DP was followed by a solo home run by O’Hearn. Still, a two-run lead isn’t terrible, right?
In the bottom of the inning, Niko Goodrum walked and then successfully stole second. Unfortunately, the runner in scoring position was taken out by a runner’s fielder’s choice, which is a mouthful of a way to say: the Tigers were left with no men on and scored no runs.
The fifth is really where it all went terribly wrong for Mize. First Andrew Benintendi singled to lead off the inning, then Taylor reached on an infield single, which allowed Benintendi to get to third. A Lopez groundout scored Benintendi, and then a Merrifield single scored Taylor. Santana walked, and then a Soler double scored Merrifield and Santana, giving the Royals a 6-0 lead. That was the end of the night for Mize, who was replaced by Tyler Alexander. Alexander was able to secure the final out of the inning, but the damage was certainly done.
In the bottom of the fifth the Tigers made their only real attempt at a comeback, with a lead-off double by Candelario, and then a two-run home run to left off the bat of Grossman to cut the lead down to four.
The top of the sixth was so smooth it only took Tyler Alexander five pitches to get through three batters, which given the history of the Tigers bullpen is certainly an inning worth mentioning. In the bottom of the same Zack Short finally collected his first major league hit with his parents in attendance. Candelario got an infield single and it looked as if the team might be putting something together but unfortunately, a comebacker off the bat of Ramos right at relief pitcher Tyler Zuber ended the inning. (Zuber was unhurt)
In the seventh Alexander came out for one more inning and gave up a walk to Santana, but no harm was done. The bottom of the seventh saw Robbie Grossman getting himself another single (have yourself a night, Robbie), but spoiler alert, the Tigers were unable to capitalize on the baserunner.
Buck Farmer came on for the Tigers in the eighth and gave up a walk to O’Hearn, and another to Benintendi, but was able to get out of the inning with no further runs being scored. The Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
To close things out the Tigers turned to Holland, who gave up a single to Merrifield, then Santana grounded into a fielder’s choice that saw he and Merrifield both stay safe, and Zack Short collect another major league first for tonight: an error. Santana and Merrifield did a double-steal, but a Dyson groundout ended the inning.
In spite of a Robbie Grossman walk in the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers did not threaten, and did not score, and the game ended with a Royals win.
Final: Tigers 2, Royals 6.