Kansas City at Detroit

W: J. Johnson (1-0) L: M. Wood (0-1)
HR: KC - E. Brown (1)   DET - R. White (1)

Tigers 7, Royals 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DETROIT -- No matter how bad his spring was, Jason Johnson always believed he could pitch.

After running up a 7.97 spring training ERA that cost him a planned opening-day start, Johnson pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings in his first outing of the season and helped the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Thursday.

"I thought that was the most blown-out-of-proportion thing ever," Johnson said. "I thought spring training was for getting your mechanics straight, and that's what I was doing. By the end of the spring, that's what I had done."

Johnson allowed five hits, struck out four and walked one.

"He pitched outstanding," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "He really was the difference in the game."

The game was scoreless after five innings, but Johnson finally got some support from his offense. Rondell White homered and Ivan Rodriguez, starting his second season with Detroit, had his sixth four-hit game with the Tigers.

Johnson felt the slow offensive start helped him.

"I love having all the runs, don't get me wrong," he said. "But when you don't have them, you have to go out there and pitch the best you can."

Detroit took two of three, winning an opening series for the second consecutive season. Kansas City won the season from the Tigers 11-8 last year, its fifth straight season advantage against Detroit.

Mike Wood (0-1), the third of five Kansas City pitchers, allowed three runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Kansas City starter Zack Greinke was hit by a line drive off the bat of Detroit's Carlos Guillen, struck just above the right wrist with one out in the third inning. After being examined by team trainers, the right-hander threw some test pitches, then was replaced by Nate Field. The game was 0-0 at the time.

Kansas City said Greinke sustained a bruised forearm, and he doesn't think he will miss any starts.

"I've never been hit like that in my life," he said. "I'm usually pretty good at that play, but I never even saw the ball. At first, I was surprised that it didn't hurt, but then I realized my whole arm was numb.

"Once I started to throw, it felt better, but it wasn't worth the risk of doing further damage to something and being out for a while."

Neither team got a runner past second until White's long solo homer off Wood in the sixth. The ball hit the wall behind the left-center field stands, just below the Hal Newhouser statue, a distance estimated at 445 feet.

"It felt good -- it felt like 440 maybe," White said. "We just wanted to get a run for J. J., because he was pitching great and we weren't scoring."

Detroit added six runs in the seventh to make it 7-0. Guillen hit an RBI single, Rodriguez had a run-scoring double off third baseman Mark Teahen's glove, second baseman Tony Graffanino threw away White's grounder, which could have been an inning-ending double play, for an error as two runs scored, and Carlos Pena and Bobby Higginson added RBI singles.

"We could have gotten out of that inning on a couple grounders, but it just didn't happen," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said.

Teahen, who made his major league debut on Monday, struggled defensively throughout the series.

"In the past, he's been unbelievable out there," Pena said. "He's just having a rough stretch. That happens with young players."

Mike Sweeney hit an RBI groundout in the eighth off Ugueth Urbina.

Emil Brown hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Troy Percival, his first major league homer since May 1, 2001, for Pittsburgh against San Francisco.


The Tigers released 3B Dean Palmer from Triple-A Toledo on Thursday. Palmer, who last played in 2003 and last homered in 2001, is expected to retire if he cannot get a job with another major-league team. ... White's previous homer was on Sept. 9 of last season, also against the Royals. ... Magglio Ordonez (stomach virus) missed the game after leaving Wednesday's game with dizziness. ... Greinke's outing was the second-shortest of his 25-start career. He lasted two innings against Baltimore last July 20.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Johnson
IP 6.2
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 4

I. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF5010011 .385
Tony Graffanino, 2B4010012 .625
Mike Sweeney, DH4011000 .231
Eli Marrero, 1B4000013 .000
Terrence Long, LF4130000 .375
Emil Brown, RF3112111 .375
Angel Berroa, SS4010011 .273
John Buck, C4000012 .273
Mark Teahen, 3B3110000 .182
2B - Terrence Long 2 (2, J. Johnson, Percival)
HR - Emil Brown (1, Percival)
RBI - Mike Sweeney (3), Emil Brown 2 (2)
CS - Terrence Long (1, 2nd base by J. Johnson/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 7
E - Tony Graffanino (1, Wild throw)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke 2.1400010 0.00
Nate Field 1.2100100 3.00
Mike Wood (L,0-1) 2.1433021 8.10
Jaime Cerda0111000 0.00
Shawn Camp 0.2331100 5.40
Mike MacDougal 1100100 9.00
IBB - Young by Shawn Camp
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 38-27, Nate Field 28-17, Mike Wood 37-24, Jaime Cerda 3-1, Shawn Camp 21-11, Mike MacDougal 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 1-5, Mike Wood 2-3, Shawn Camp 1-2, Mike MacDougal 1-1
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 11, Nate Field 6, Mike Wood 11, Jaime Cerda 1, Shawn Camp 7, Mike MacDougal 4
Detroit Tigers
Omar Infante, 2B4120100 .250
Carlos Guillen, SS5121002 .462
Ivan Rodriguez, C5141011 .429
Dmitri Young, DH4100113 .417
Rondell White, LF4122002 .333
    Nook Logan, PR-CF0100000 .000
Carlos Pena, 1B3011101 .375
Craig Monroe, CF-LF4000003 .200
Bobby Higginson, RF4021000 .400
Brandon Inge, 3B4110014 .200
2B - Ivan Rodriguez (2, Camp)
HR - Rondell White (1, Wood)
RBI - Carlos Guillen (1), Ivan Rodriguez (1), Rondell White 2 (2), Carlos Pena (2), Bobby Higginson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Higginson (1)
CS - Carlos Pena (1, 2nd base by Field/Buck)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Infante-Guillen-Pena
E - Carlos Guillen (1, Wild throw), Brandon Inge (1, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Jason Johnson (W,1-0) 6.2500140 0.00
Kyle Farnsworth (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Ugueth Urbina 1210010 4.50
Troy Percival 1222011 9.00
HBP - Teahen (by Troy Percival)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Johnson 76-53, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Ugueth Urbina 20-17, Troy Percival 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Johnson 9-6, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0, Ugueth Urbina 1-1, Troy Percival 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Johnson 25, Kyle Farnsworth 1, Ugueth Urbina 5, Troy Percival 6
Game Information
Attendance - 10463
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Larry Vanover