The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Detroit Tigers tumble out of 1st place with 11-4 loss to surging Kansas City Royals

  • Print

DETROIT - After watching yet another loss — and another poor performance by one of his star pitchers — Detroit manager Brad Ausmus sounded like a man beginning to lose patience.

"I stopped saying about a week ago that this was just another tough stretch," Ausmus said. "Teams go through rough patches, and they have losing streaks, but this is something more than that."

Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas homered as part of a seven-run second inning, and the Kansas City Royals took over first place in the AL Central on Tuesday night with their ninth straight victory, 11-4 over the Tigers. Gordon and Moustakas hit two-run shots off Max Scherzer, and Kansas City has won the first two games of this four-game series emphatically.

The Royals, who trailed the Tigers by seven games after a May 20 loss, now lead Detroit by a half-game. It's been a startling fall for the Tigers, who have won three straight division titles and started 27-12 in 2014, Ausmus' first season as manager.

"The players are getting sick of this, certainly," Ausmus said. "I know I'm sick of this, they are sick of it and I'm sure the fans are sick of this. We just have to find a way to fix it. I don't know a magical spell to do that."

Scherzer (8-3) yielded a career high-tying 10 runs in four-plus innings. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner allowed the first eight batters of the second inning to reach base, with Kansas City scoring six runs before making an out.

Royals rookie Yordano Ventura (5-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Ian Kinsler hit a solo homer for Detroit.

Kansas City is in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2003, according to STATS. The Royals were leading the division in late August that year, only to finish third at 83-79. They have not made the post-season since winning the World Series in 1985.

"A lot of games left, so it really doesn't matter, but to say you're in first place, it feels pretty good," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "Being in first place any time is good — even if it's after the first game."

The Tigers, on the other hand, are facing a surprising number of questions about their starting rotation, which was expected to be among the best in baseball. Justin Verlander has slumped badly over the last month — he took the loss in Kansas City's 11-8 victory in the series opener Monday. Scherzer threw his first career shutout last week, but the Royals tagged him for 10 hits in his next start Tuesday.

"I'm just not putting guys away with two strikes. That's my problem," Scherzer said. "I've taken punches on the chin before, and I've come back. I'm not worried about that. I just have to get back to where I'm putting guys away."

Scherzer did strike out five in the game.

Gordon opened the scoring with his two-run drive to right field, and Moustakas' homer made it 4-0. Omar Infante added a two-run single before Eric Hosmer finally made the first out of the second on a tapper back to the pitcher. Some fans cheered sarcastically, even though another run came home on the play to make it 7-0.

Verlander and Scherzer combined to allow 17 runs in the first two games of this series. That's the most ever by two teammates with Cy Young Awards in back-to-back team games, according to STATS.

Detroit is out of first place for the first time since taking over the division lead July 3 last year, also according to STATS.

Ventura allowed two runs in the second, but that was the first of three consecutive innings in which Detroit hit into a double play. With the Royals ahead 10-2 in the fifth, Ventura walked Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded, but the hard-throwing right-hander caught a break when a pitch to Victor Martinez sailed past catcher Salvador Perez.

The ball bounced hard off the backstop, right back to Perez, and Detroit's Eugenio Suarez was caught between third base and home. Perez threw to third to catch Suarez retreating and end the inning.

NOTES: The Tigers agreed to terms with OF Derek Hill, the team's first-round draft pick. ... Perez extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Detroit OF Torii Hunter, who left Monday's game with a hamstring cramp, did not play. ... Detroit LHP Drew Smyly (3-5) faces Kansas City RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-6) on Wednesday.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Stuary Murray announces musical RightsFest for CMHR opening weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • June 25, 2013 - 130625  -  A storm lit up Winnipeg Tuesday, June 25, 2013. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press - lightning
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google