Royals rookie Almonte gives up HR to Tigers' Kinsler in 11th
DETROIT (AP) Ned Yost didn't have many relief options left when the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers reached the 11th inning Saturday night.
He didn't regret the one he picked, even though the Royals lost 6-5 on Ian Kinsler's lead-off homer.
The teams had played 13 innings on Friday night in a game that left Yost without his best four relievers for Saturday, so Yost was faced with three choices: use Danny Duffy in relief for the first time all season, use former Tiger Joba Chamberlain, who has already been released by Detroit and Toronto this year, or go with rookie Miguel Almonte.
Almonte had pitched the 10th, only allowing a walk, so Yost decided to leave him in the game.
''We were already down our top four guys after going 13 last night, so when we went extra innings again tonight, we were pretty short,'' Yost said. ''We like Almonte's stuff and he had been good in the 10th, so we stayed with him. He just threw a bad curveball to a good hitter.''
Almonte (0-1) was making the fifth appearance of his major-league career, so not many hitters have seen him, but Kinsler was one of them. Kinsler homered off Almonte in his major-league debut on Sept. 1, and Saturday night, he hit a 1-2 curveball into the Tigers bullpen to end the game.
It was also Kinsler's second walk-off homer against Kansas City this season - he hit one off Ryan Madson on August 6 - and marked the second time in less than an hour he thought he had won the game.
''The nice thing about hitting one out is that the game is guaranteed to be over,'' he said. ''There was no reviewing that one.''
Kinsler was initially called safe at home on a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, setting off the first mob scene at the plate. However, a replay review showed Royals catcher Salvador Perez caught Jarrod Dyson's off-line throw and caught the tip of Kinsler's shoe with a diving tag to end the inning.
''I thought I beat it, but when I came in from the inning, they showed the web of his glove move,'' he said. ''What are you going to do? You get back on the field and try to get right back to work.''
Tom Gorzelanny (2-0) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Tigers rookie Matt Boyd ended a lengthy slump, allowing two runs and three hits and a walk in six innings. Boyd struck out six - one short of his career best.
Edinson Volquez allowed three runs and seven hits and four walks in six innings for the Royals, who have lost 11 of 15.
''We've got some guys going through quiet stretches with the bat, and that happens during the season,'' Yost said. ''I'm not worried, because I'd rather have it happen now than two weeks from now.''
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the second on Kendrys Morales' 18th homer, but Miguel Cabrera answered with a two-run single in the third. Cabrera now has four RBIs in the last two games after a 12-game slump where he only had one.
Mike Moustakas tied the game on the second pitch of the fifth, hitting a fastball an estimated 425 feet over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field. Detroit, though, regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Victor Martinez's fly out to the 420-foot sign in center field easily scored Cabrera.
Eric Hosmer led off the seventh with a double off Blaine Hardy, and took third as Kinsler robbed Morales of a hit with a diving stop-and-throw. Moustakas couldn't drive home the run, grounding out, and Tigers manager brought in Al Alburquerque to face Jonny Gomes. Alburquerque got ahead 0-2, but then threw a wild pitch, allowing Hosmer to score the tying run.
Alburquerque then walked Gomes, balked pinch-runner Dyson to second, intentionally walked Perez, and allowed an RBI single to Christian Colon before being pulled. Ian Krol walked Alex Gordon to load the bases, but retired Ben Zobrist to end the inning.
Victor Martinez ripped a two-run homer off Chris Young in the bottom of the inning, putting the Tigers up 5-4, but Hosmer tied the game with a home run off Bruce Rondon in the top of the eighth. It was Hosmer's first homer since Aug. 14.
Royals: 2B Omar Infante (oblique strain) and SS Alcides Escobar (elbow contusion) both sat out Saturday's game after sustaining injuries on Friday night. Escobar, who was hit by a pitch, could play as soon as Sunday, while Infante will undergo tests Monday in Kansas City and could miss the rest of the regular season.
Tigers: 3B Nick Castellanos (groin strain) returned to the starting lineup after Tuesday's injury. He pinch hit in Friday's extra-inning win, but did not play the field.
The teams finish a three-game series Sunday afternoon with Alfredo Simon (12-9) facing Kris Medlen (3-1, 4.58). The Royals will be ending a 10-day road trip and have Monday off while the Tigers face a doubleheader.