Cueto beats Tigers 4-0 in his Royals' home debut
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Johnny Cueto could not have scripted a better introduction to the Kansas City fans.
Cueto threw a four-hitter in his home debut as the Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Monday night.
Cueto (1-1) did not allow a runner past second base, struck out eight and walked none. It was his sixth career shutout and second this season.
''The crowd really gave me an extra boost,'' Cueto said with catching coach Pedro Grifol acting as his interpreter. ''This is the most I've felt from a crowd; the intensity is by far the most.
''I felt really proud the fans were just feeding me that last little boost of energy I needed.''
Cueto, who was acquired from Cincinnati on July 26 for three pitching prospects, received a loud cheer as he went out for his warmup pitches and the standing ovations grew after every scoreless inning as he walked to the dugout.
Cueto struck out Anthony Gose on three pitches to begin the game as the festive Kauffman Stadium crowd roared with approval. Sluggerr, the Royals' mascot, appeared wearing a Cueto-esque mane of dreadlocks.
When Cueto came out for the ninth, the Kauffman Stadium announced crowd of 36,672 rose in unison with a deafening roar that did not stop until long after he retired Victor Martinez on a fly ball to right fielder Alex Rios for the final out.
''A bunch of us were saying in the eighth inning just watch how loud this gets when he goes out for the ninth inning,'' said Eric Hosmer, who had an RBI single in the seventh. ''It was really cool to see and fun to be a part of it.
''It was pretty fun to see, his first game as a Royal at the K and hear the crowd out there in the ninth inning. It was a fun atmosphere tonight, a different feel tonight, a lot of people excited.''
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus complained to plate umpire Joe West that Cueto's delivery was illegal, that he was stopping in his windup.
''Really, the way the rule reads, you're not supposed to even alter your motion,'' Ausmus said. ''That's the way the rule reads. They don't enforce it. Well, he said if he stops it's an illegal pitch.''
Tigers lefty Matt Boyd, who was acquired from Toronto on July 30 in the David Price trade, gave up three runs in the first inning.
Boyd (1-3), who beat Cueto and the Royals 2-1 last Wednesday when he allowed seven hits and one run over seven innings in his Tigers debut, gave up singles to Alcides Escobar and Ben Zobrist on his first two pitches.
Lorenzo Cain doubled to center, scoring both. Kendrys Morales' one-out single produced the third run of the inning.
Zobrist went 3 for 3 with a walk. The Royals' first five hitters - Escobar, Zobrist, Cain, Hosmer and Morales - went a combined 11 for 19 with four RBIs.
J.D. Martinez doubled in the second for the Tigers' only extra-base hit.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (left calf strain) did light running around the bases. ... RHP Alex Wilson (shoulder fatigue), threw a 12-pitch bullpen session. If his arm responds well Tuesday, he could be ready to pitch.
Royals: RHP Wade Davis (back stiffness) has not pitched since Thursday.
The Tigers optioned LHP Ian Krol, who had a 1-3 record with a 6.75 ERA in 26 relief appearances, to Triple-A Toledo. They recalled LHP Kyle Ryan from Toledo.
Tigers: RHP Anabel Sanchez is 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA in three starts against the Royals this season.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura has an 8.18 ERA in two starts, both no-decisions, against the Tigers in 2015. He has yielded four home runs and 16 hits in 11 innings.