Hernandez allowed two hits through five innings before he was ejected after triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth, and the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-0 Sunday.
Three relievers finished the six-hitter for the Royals, who had three players and manager Buddy Bell ejected in the melee that started after Hernandez beaned Detroit's Carlos Guillen in the helmet, his third hit batter of the game.
"What he did is not acceptable," Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. "A pitcher cannot throw at a player's head. It's not a good thing to do."
The Royals led 4-0 when Hernandez (7-9) threw a low and inside pitch that Guillen thought hit him. Guillen argued with plate umpire Marty Foster, and Detroit manager Alan Trammell came out to plead the case. The next pitch hit Guillen in the helmet.
"I didn't try to hit nobody," Hernandez said. "I feel sorry about that (hitting Guillen in the head). But I didn't try to hit him on purpose."
Guillen yelled at Hernandez when he got up and the two charged each other. The dugouts and bullpens then cleared, with Hernandez and Guillen being kept away from each other.
"I think that's absolutely wrong, throwing at somebody's head," Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman said. "If I hit somebody in the head, I expect someone to do the same thing. You stand up for your teammates because you can end a guy's career throwing at somebody's head.
"He might say he did it on accident, but he still did it. In my opinion, it was totally intentional and you just don't throw at somebody's head."
The scuffle appeared to be over with no punches thrown, but more pushing and shoving began. Detroit reliever Kyle Farnsworth then charged Kansas City relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, picked him up and slammed him to the ground.
"It was nothing that I said," Affeldt said. "He must've felt like we were going at it."
Farnsworth said he had nothing to say.
Tigers manager Alan Trammell said Guillen was in the hospital for observation.
"It's just a typical baseball fight," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "I just hope Guillen is OK. We've all been hit in the head at one time or another."
"A lot of pitchers hit guys in the head, I don't do that," Hernandez said. "I'm not that kind of a pitcher. I always throw inside."
Too far inside, according to the Tigers.
"When you throw at a guy's head, it's no accident," Craig Monroe said. "When you go after guys' livelihoods, it's personal."
Brandon Inge agreed.
"When you're a big league pitcher, you should be able to throw below the shoulder," he said. "When you throw above the shoulder, it's no accident."
Leo Nunez relieved Hernandez and got Chris Shelton to hit into a double play and Magglio Ordonez to ground out to end the sixth. He pitched a perfect seventh before Affeldt allowed a single to Nook Logan in the eighth.
Mike MacDougal allowed three hits in the ninth before getting pinch-hitter Rodriguez to ground to short with the bases loaded.
"Runelvys started off real well and the guys came in from the pen and did a good job," Teahen said.
Hernandez hit two of the first three Detroit batters of the game, Brandon Inge and Shelton. Hernandez said he was rusty after not pitching for nine days.
DeJesus led off the game with a single and scored on Sweeney's one-out homer. Brown followed with a lined single to center that Logan misplayed for a two-base error, which allowed Brown to go to third. Terrence Long then singled to right through a drawn-in infield for a 3-0 lead.
"It killed us when I gave up three runs in the first inning," Maroth said. "I left a lot of pitches up out over the plate."
Teahen homered with one out in the fourth.
Detroit had runners on the corners with one out in the third, but Hernandez got Shelton to hit into a double play on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
"We didn't play a very good ballgame," Trammell said. "When we came out today, it didn't appear that we were ready."
Maroth allowed three earned runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.
- Sweeney is 14-for-31 (.452) in his last seven games with four home runs and 11 RBI.
- The Tigers were without 2B Placido Polanco (strained hamstring) for the fourth straight game and 1B-DH Dmitri Young (sore calf) for the second consecutive contest.