Kansas City at Detroit

W: R. Hernandez (1-0) L: M. Maroth (0-1)
HR: KC - A. Berroa (1)   DET - None

Comebacking Hernandez gives Royals big lift, beats Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DETROIT -- After a layoff of more than a year, Runelvys Hernandez was eager to prove his recovery from elbow surgery is complete.

"I waited a long time for this moment," he said Wednesday after leading the Kansas City Royals over the Detroit Tigers 7-2.

Hernandez (1-0) had not pitched since Aug. 16, 2003. He had elbow ligament replacement surgery that Sept. 5 and missed all of last season.

He gave up one run and five hits in seven innings against the Tigers, walked three and struck out three for his first win since Aug. 10, 2003 at Tampa Bay.

"I was wondering what I might have," he said. "But you saw today, Hernandez is back. I had good pitches. I was trying to hit the corners. I wasn't worried about throwing hard, but about location."

Hernandez threw 100 pitches, 61 for strikes.

"He located his fastball well, and threw his offspeed pitches for strikes," Detroit's Rondell White said.

Tony Graffanino had three singles and a double as Hernandez was backed with 15 hits.

"After the third inning, he was in command," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. "He threw great. He had a great changeup, slider and curve."

Jeremy Affeldt, Kansas City's third pitcher, completed the six-hitter, giving up an RBI triple to Dmitri Young in the ninth.

Mike Maroth (0-1) allowed five runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Kansas City, coming off an 11-2 loss Monday, got started quickly in the first when singles by David DeJesus and Graffanino put runners at the corners.

A pitch appeared to hit Mike Sweeney and bounce toward the Royals dugout on the first-base side. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez didn't give chase at first, but plate umpire Larry Vanover ruled Sweeney wasn't hit. DeJesus scored and Graffanino moved to third on what was ruled a wild pitch.

Rodriguez and Detroit manager Alan Trammell argued to no avail. After the game, Sweeney acknowledged he had been hit.

"I'm an honest man," he said. "The pitch hit me on the foot."

Sweeney followed with a broken-bat single for a 2-0 lead.

"He has pitched well against us the last couple times we've faced him, so getting a couple of runs was huge," Sweeney said. "Once he gets into a groove, he can get a complete game with 85 pitches, and we didn't want that to happen today."

Maroth never got into a groove, allowing the first batter in each of the four innings he pitches to reach base.

"I think it probably showed, throwing a lot of balls, going deep on hitters," he said. "I'm a guy that likes to get them to put it in play early in the count and I wasn't able to do that today."

Detroit drew a crowd of 14,168 to Comerica Park after setting a ballpark record of 44,105 at Monday's opener.

Omar Infante hit a sacrifice fly in the third, but Kansas City made it 5-1 in the fourth. Matt Stairs doubled and scored on Mark Teahen's first major league hit, a triple into the right-field corner. DeJesus and Sweeney followed with RBI singles. Eli Marrero added a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Angel Berroa homered in the eighth.

Detroit's Magglio Ordonez, who missed the final three spring training games due to diverticulitis, left the game after the fourth inning due to dizziness.

"His system's a little weak," Trammell said. "We'll see whether or not he plays tomorrow."


  • Hernandez is 3-0 against the Tigers, all at Comerica Park. He is now 7-2 in career road decisions, 12-9 overall.
  • Graffanino had four hits for the first time since May 14, 2002, when he did it for the Chicago White Sox against the Texas Rangers.
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

T. Graffanino
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
Kansas City

R. Hernandez
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 3

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4221111 .500
Tony Graffanino, 2B42401011.000
Mike Sweeney, DH5022013 .222
Eli Marrero, 1B4001015 .000
Emil Brown, LF5020022 .400
Angel Berroa, SS4111003 .286
Matt Stairs, RF4110032 .429
John Buck, C3020101 .429
Mark Teahen, 3B4111012 .125
2B - Tony Graffanino (1, German), Matt Stairs (1, Maroth)
3B - Mark Teahen (1, Maroth)
HR - Angel Berroa (1, Walker)
SF - Eli Marrero (1)
RBI - David DeJesus (2), Mike Sweeney 2 (2), Eli Marrero (1), Angel Berroa (1), Mark Teahen (1)
2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus (1), Mike Sweeney (1), Mark Teahen (1)
CS - David DeJesus (1, 2nd base by Ginter/Rodriguez), John Buck (1, 2nd base by Maroth/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Emil Brown 1
DP - Marrero-Berroa-Ru. Hernandez, Berroa-Graffanino-Marrero
Kansas City Royals
Runelvys Hernandez (W,1-0) 7511330 1.29
Mike Wood 1000010 0.00
Jeremy Affeldt 1111110 9.00
WP - Runelvys Hernandez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Runelvys Hernandez 100-61, Mike Wood 17-11, Jeremy Affeldt 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Runelvys Hernandez 5-10, Mike Wood 1-1
Batters Faced - Runelvys Hernandez 26, Mike Wood 3, Jeremy Affeldt 5
Detroit Tigers
Omar Infante, 2B3001000 .125
Carlos Guillen, SS4030000 .500
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000004 .222
Magglio Ordonez, RF2000003 .000
    Bobby Higginson, RF1100101 .000
Dmitri Young, DH4011021 .625
Rondell White, LF4010001 .250
Carlos Pena, 1B2100212 .400
Craig Monroe, CF3010011 .333
Brandon Inge, 3B2000110 .167
3B - Dmitri Young (1, Affeldt)
SF - Omar Infante (1)
RBI - Omar Infante (1), Dmitri Young (6)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Infante-Guillen-Pena, Guillen-Pena
Detroit Tigers
Mike Maroth (L,0-1) 3.21155020 12.27
Matt Ginter 2.1200110 0.00
Franklyn German 1111000 9.00
Jamie Walker 1111131 9.00
Kyle Farnsworth 1000130 0.00
WP - Mike Maroth (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Maroth 86-50, Matt Ginter 28-15, Franklyn German 9-6, Jamie Walker 22-14, Kyle Farnsworth 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Maroth 2-6, Matt Ginter 3-0, Franklyn German 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Maroth 21, Matt Ginter 7, Franklyn German 4, Jamie Walker 5, Kyle Farnsworth 4
Game Information
Attendance - 14168
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Randy Marsh