Salvador Perez powers Royals to 10-3 victory over Tigers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Even the remarkable patience of Royals manager Ned Yost has been challenged by young pitcher Yordano Ventura, who has all the makings of a star if he could ever put everything together.
His last two outings, Ventura has done precisely that.
Ventura kept the Detroit Tigers' big bats off balance into the seventh inning Friday night, and Salvador Perez homered to end Michael Fulmer's long scoreless innings streak, before Kansas City piled on late in a 10-3 win.
''Very impressive again,'' Yost said. ''He stayed within himself, repeated his mechanics. Pitched great.''
Ventura (6-4) scattered six hits while striking out five without a walk, ultimately outlasting Fulmer (7-2) in what began as an entertaining pitching duel between two bright young starters.
Fulmer pushed his streak to a Tigers rookie-record 33 1/3 innings before Perez went deep in the sixth. He left after walking the next two batters, allowing five hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
''The scoreless streak, it was nice and everything,'' Fulmer said, ''but my ultimate goal is it's a team game, to get a team `W.' And unfortunately I wasn't good enough to do it tonight.''
Perez drove in two more in the seventh, Kendrys Morales hit a three-run shot in the eighth, and Eric Hosmer added three RBIs as the Royals beat up on the Detroit bullpen.
Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and Miguel Cabrera a solo shot off Dillon Gee in the ninth.
''The game smelled like it was going to be a 1-0, 2-1 game until we broke it open,'' Yost said.
The Tigers had their only success against Ventura early, getting singles in each of the first three innings that amounted to nothing. Cabrera singled leading off the fourth but was taken out by another double play, and Nick Castellanos was left stranded after his single.
Ventura proceeded to retire the next seven batters he faced in a dominant performance.
''Just continuing to work on my mechanics,'' he said. ''I felt good today with my mechanics.''
Nearly as good was Fulmer, who left runners on second and third by striking out Brett Eibner in the second inning, and got Lorenzo Cain to ground into a double play with the bases loaded in the third.
The 23-year-old rookie made it through the fifth inning unscathed. Fulmer shattered the franchise rookie record of 28 2/3 set by John Hiller in August 1967, and then trumped the 32 innings that Orel Hershiser went as a rookie for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1984.
Perez left Fulmer just short of Fernando Valenzuela's 35-inning mark in 1981.
The big catcher turned on a two-out pitch in the sixth and sent it soaring 422 feet to left field, where it landed just shy of the Hall of Fame. It was Perez's third homer in his last four games.
The Tigers got runners on second and third in the seventh, thanks in part to two errors. Kelvin Herrera entered and retired Steven Moya - Whit Merrifield made a marvelous play at second base for a fielder's choice - and got James McCann for an inning-ending groundout to preserve the 1-0 lead.
All the drama evaporated as the Royals scored four in the seventh and five in the eighth.
''The guy they had throwing today is really good. There's a reason he had so many scoreless innings,'' Hosmer said. ''We did a good job working his pitch count up, betting to the bullpen and we kind of exploded.''
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (left quad) ran before the game but got another night off. ... OF J.D. Martinez (right elbow fracture) is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks after getting hurt in Thursday's series opener. ''Of all the injuries he could've had running into the wall,'' trainer Kevin Rand said, ''this is probably the best.''
Royals: OF Alex Gordon (broken wrist) will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Northwest Arkansas this weekend. He'll get about 25 at-bats before rejoining the Royals. ''We'll judge it,'' Yost said, ''but the way he looks in batting practice right now, I don't think he'll be there real long.''
Tigers LHP Matt Boyd takes the mound against the team he faced in his major league debut last August. He will oppose Royals RHP Edinson Volquez, who worked seven scoreless against Cleveland in his last start.