Michael Massey’s double sparked a three-run fourth inning and the Kansas City bullpen made it hold up as the host Royals defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Tuesday.
With one out in the fourth, shortstop Javy Baez’s throwing error put Edward Olivares on first base. Massey followed with a liner into the right field corner on the next pitch. Massey then scored on Maikel Garcia’s single. The next two Royals batters also reached base before Salvador Perez made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4) flirted with trouble all night, putting runners in scoring position before escaping with back-to-back strikeouts in each of the first two innings. Ultimately, he completed five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks. He struck out nine.
Making just his sixth career start — and first since Sept. 6 of last year — Mike Mayers fanned the first four Tigers he faced and a career-best eight over 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and a walk.
Over the first three innings, the two starters combined to strike out 13 of 23 batters.
Mayers left with runners on first and second and two outs in the fifth. Baez hit reliever Jose Cuas’ first pitch for an RBI single. The Tigers finished with eight hits — all singles, with Baez getting two of them.
Kansas City answered, however, with Olivares’ RBI single in the bottom half of the fifth for a 4-1 lead.
Four Royals relievers hurled 4 1/3 innings to close out the Tigers. Cuas (3-0) recorded four outs for the victory and struck out Zach McKinstry with the bases loaded to end a sixth-inning threat.
Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a hitless ninth inning to pick up his second save.
Garcia had three singles while Massey, Olivares and Bobby Witt Jr. each had a pair of hits. Witt also recorded his team-leading 14th stolen base.
The Royals snapped a four-game losing streak while the Tigers have now lost four of six.
–Field Level Media