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Detroit Tigers Hang On To Beat Royals 3-1

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Ryan Raburn closed his eyes and swung the bat as hard as he could.  The Kansas City pitcher hit his bat in the sweet spot and Raburn was rewarded with a two-run homer in the second inning.  That turned out to be all the offense Max Scherzer and the Tigers would need to get their second win in a row. 

Scherzer seemed to have much better command of his pitches tonight, and held the Royals to just one run in 6 and 2/3rds innings to pick up his 10th win of the season.  Scherzer had been taking quite the beating in the last couple of weeks, so it was good to see him pitch well again. 

The Tigers took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th after Don Kelly lined a solo home run in the top of the inning.  Closer Jose Valverde got the first two Kansas City hitters out before making this one a little too interesting by giving up a hit and a walk.  He then got the last out on a fly ball to left to earn his 22nd save in 22 opportunities.  Valverde makes me crazy when he pitches, but seems to get the job done when a save is on the line. 

The Tigers didn’t gain any ground on first-place Cleveland, who won on a walk-off grand slam by Travis Hafner in the 9th to beat Toronto.  The Indians maintain a game and a half lead over Detroit in the A.L. Central.

The Tigers and Royals will play the second game of their 4-game series tomorrow night in Kansas City.  Rick Porcello will go for his 8th win vs. the Royals’ Kyle Davies.  Davies is 1-7 with a 7.77 ERA.  8:10 first pitch.

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