Tigers Bullpen Struggles in Loss to KC

Francisco Liriano entered the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead. By the time the inning was over, the Tigers were down 5-3; Liriano had been charged with 3 earned runs and reliever Alex Wilson had allowed 2 earned runs, despite only facing four batters in 2/3 of an inning.

Detroit battled back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game, but the Royals picked up in the sixth inning right where the offense had left off just one inning earlier. Drew VerHagen fared no better than Wilson, facing three batters, walking two and striking out the other. As manager Ron Gardenhire turned to Buck Farmer, the runs continued, both runners Farmer inherited scored and he allowed an earned run of his own to put Kansas City on top 8-5. Detroit’s Joe Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth, matched by Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, who earned his ninth save of the year. Drew VerHagen was charged with his first loss of the year to fall to 0-1.

Abraham Almonte was the star of the night for the Royals at the plate, notching 4 RBI. For the series, Almonte was 8-for-13 (.615) with 1 home run and 5 RBI. He improved his season batting average from .100 to .242. Nicholas Castellanos paced the offense for Detroit, as he capped his strong series with a 3-for-4, 2 RBI afternoon. He is now batting .307 on the year with 1 HR and 10 RBI.  Miguel Cabrera, JaCoby Jones, and James McCann each added an RBI in the losing effort.

Detroit has an off day Monday, they will return to action live on Jackson ESPN 101.9 from Pittsburgh. The Pirates send Chad Kuhl (2-1, 4.57ERA) against Detroit’s Jordan Zimmerman (1-0, 7.71ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm at PNC Park.