Detroit Tigers Come From Behind In 8th, Beat K.C.
Rick Porcello put two pitches in the wheelhouse of Kansas City rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer, and Hosmer put both of them deep into the right field seats. Note to Porcello: Don't pitch to that guy anymore. Porcello was hit hard by many of the other Royals hitters today, but left the game trailing only 4-2 after 7 innings.
Austin Jackson had a big day for the Tigers. He was 4-4 and scored 3 of the Tigers' 5 runs. Jackson led off the 8th inning with a triple, and scored on a sacrifice by Ramon Santiago (last night's hero). With the score now 4-3 in favor of the Royals, Delmon Young got a base hit to put the tying run on base with just one out. Slugger Miguel Cabrera popped out to the infield for the second out, and things didn't look good for the Tiger comeback. Victor Martinez then roped a two-out double to drive home Young and tie the game at 4-4. The Royals then intentionally walked Alex Avila to pitch to Wilson Betemit, who had struck out a couple of times today in his previous at-bats. Betemit ripped a line drive to right that scored the lead run for the Tigers.
Closer Jose Valverde got the Royals out in the 9th after putting two runners on with two outs (it wouldn't be a Valverde save without a little drama) to give the Tigers a 5-4 win and earn his 40th save in 40 tries.
The win means the Tigers will enjoy at least a 5.5 game lead over second place Chicago (who was losing to Minn. late as of this writing).
Detroit and Kansas City will play another afternoon contest tomorrow at Comerica Park. Top pitching prospect Jacob Turner will get his second big league start for the Tigers against K.C.'s Danny Duffy.
After the Royals leave town, Chicago comes to visit for a big 3-game series this weekend. A good weekend for the Tigers could virtually eliminate the White Sox from contention. A bad weekend could make things too close for comfort. Justin Verlander will pitch Friday night's game against John Danks of the Sox.