This game was definitely a little too close for comfort if we remember that the Royals have a mere 27 wins going into tonight, and the Tigers are meant to have the best parts of their lineup back. The Tigers won, but it was down to the wire, as they didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning.
Anyway, let’s see how this all went down.
Jordan Lyles started things out for the Royals and had an easy 1-2-3 inning to start things off. On the Tigers’ side of things, fresh off participating in a no-hitter, Matt Manning had a 1-2-3 of his own. Not a bad start.
Kerry Carpenter singled to start off the second inning, but a strikeout and double-play ended the inning scoreless. Manning allowed a leadoff single to Freddie Fermin, but got the next three outs in order.
In the third, Andy Ibanez drew a leadoff walk and then stole second on a wild pitch. Unfortunately the next three outs failed to give him a chance to score, despite his best efforts. Manning continued to look solid with another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half.
Lyles went three up and three down in the top of the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning things got ugly for Manning and the Tigers. MJ Melendez got a one-out single. He then stole second thanks to a pickoff error from Manning. A Fermin single scored Melendez, and Fermin ended up at second. A Nick Pratto single then brought Fermin home. The Royals ended the inning up 2-0.
Lyles had his own struggles in the top of the fifth. With two outs Ibanez singled. Baddoo singled, and Ibanez advanced to third (you can’t say Andy isn’t trying tonight), but no runs scored. Manning got his footing back in the bottom half going 1-2-3.
Lyles went three up and three down in the sixth, and Manning made it two outs into the bottom of the sixth before Hinch brought in Tyler Holton, who collected the final out of the inning. Final line for Manning was 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K on 81 pitches. Going to be honest, it’s a kind of interesting scenario where if the pitcher causes the error that leads to a run, is that run not still his responsibility? Tree. Woods. Runs. Earned. Anyway, back to the game.
Top of the seventh saw a leadoff walk from Carpenter, followed by three outs. Bottom of the inning Fermin reached on an infield single then advanced to second on an error from Zach McKinstry. Pratto then drew a walk. Brendan White took over from Holton and got the final two outs.
Heading into the eighth Akil Baddoo got a nice leadoff double by showcasing every bit of his speed, and two outs later, Riley Greene was aboard after being hit by a pitch. Spencer Torkelson then walked to load the bases. If ever there was a moment for the Tigers to do something, this was it. And it turned out they didn’t need to try that hard as Carpenter walked to force in a run. A Matt Vierling double into the right field corner then scored Greene and Torkelson and gave the Tigers the lead.
In the bottom half Jason Foley was next out of the pen, and Samad Taylor reached on a single, then stole second. A lineout very impressively caught by Baddoo on a full sprint into the left field corner kept the game from tying and might have taken a few months off my life. Melendez got an intentional walk, and it worked out, with the Royals ending the inning scoreless.
Top of the ninth and the Tigers went down in order. It was all going to be up to Lange to get the final three outs. Lange looked dialed in, which was nice to see. He got the last three and the Tigers walked away with their win.
Final: Tigers 3, Royals 2