Kansas City, Mo. - The Tigers add loss No.5 to an existing skid after falling 3-2 to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
High expectations landed on the shoulders of Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull (4-4), who, in his last outing, played a crucial role in Detroit’s 5-2 victory over Cleveland.
During the 28-year-old’s five innings pitched, the Royals’ offense managed to convert six hits into three runs. Half of those hits came off of Turnbull’s low 90s sinkers.
Tigers interim manager, Lloyd McClendon, intentionally loaded the bases in the first. Royals’ Ryan O’Hearn drew the walk from Turnbull during a seven-pitch at-bat, sending Whit Merrifield home for Kansas City’s first run of the game.
The Royals added their third and final run of the night in the fifth when Maikel Franco’s sacrifice fly to center scored Adalberto Mondesi.
The Tigers bullpen, consisting of Daniel Norris, Jose Cisnero and Buck Farmer, held Kansas City to three scoreless innings.
The bullpen notched a combined total of 5 Ks, with three belonging to Norris’ 1-2-3 appearance in the sixth.
Royals starter Brad Keller (5-3) threw six scoreless innings, striking out five and allowing four singles. Keller finished the 2020 season with good numbers from home, only allowing one run in 33 innings pitched at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals LHP Danny Duffy came in to relieve, his first time doing so since 2016. Duffy went ⅓ innings, giving up two runs and two hits. Barlow quickly came in on the mound for the Royals.
Tigers Add Runs to the Board
The Tigers’ offensive spark in the seventh inning was ignited by the latter half of Detroit’s lineup.
First baseman Brandon Dixon, who came in to hit for Christin Stewart, grounded out to short, allowing Harold Castro to reach home.
Soon after, catcher Eric Haase sent RHP Scott Barlow’s slider to center for a sacrifice fly to score Niko Goodrum, pushing the Tigers to trail Kansas City 3-2.
The Detroit Tigers (22-34) face the Royals (25-33) for the third matchup of their four-game series on Saturday. Both teams are eliminated from the playoff hunt.
Starting pitchers will be Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd (2-7, 6.75 ERA) and Royals right-hander Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 3.46 ERA).
The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST at Kauffman Stadium.
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