|Kansas City «||3||0||0||2||3||1||0||1||x||10||18||0|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals came through with a victory for their home fans -- though there weren't many of them.
Matt Stairs had three hits, including a three-run homer, and the Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 10-4 before their smallest home crowd in 10 years.
The Royals, who have lost 99 games, drew an announced attendance of 8,915 for the opener of their final homestand of the season. That is the smallest crowd to see a Royals' home game since July 5, 1995, when 7,511 watched them play Boston.
"The reasons why the fans aren't out here are the type of season we've had, the time of year it is, not in the race, knocking on 100 losses," catcher John Buck said. "I think that's why people are not going to make the sacrifice to stay up late on a school night cause it is not real meaningful."
Buck is grateful for the fans who still do come.
"People recognize that we may get beat, but our Kansas City Royals fans recognize we are playing hard regardless of the outcome," he said. "It is good to have baseball fans, even if it's 8,000 that showed up. They know the game and appreciate it that we're playing hard."
The Tigers are 4-15 in September, and with 82 losses are assured of their 12th consecutive losing season.
Stairs homered in the first after Mike Sweeney snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a single. Terrence Long was also on after a single.
"We could have easily rolled over, after their home run in the first inning and said, 'Here we go again,' " Stairs said. "We had some good at-bats in the first inning. When you score three runs in the first inning that is nice. It takes pressure off the offense."
Mike Wood (5-7) was 0-3 in four starts before earning his first victory since Aug. 20, when he helped snap the Royals' franchise-record 19-game losing streak. He is 2-3 in eight starts since moving into the rotation on Aug. 9.
Wood gave up four runs and eight hits, including home runs by Carlos Pena and Chris Shelton, in 5 2/3 innings before being replaced by rookie reliever Ambiorix Burgos. He walked one and struck out four.
"I did give up four and a couple of big homers, but my offense did the job today hitting and the defense of course did it again," Wood said. "I need to keep down a little bit better. I got some balls up. Pena's was a fastball on the corner, but it was up. He got extension. I haven't seen a ball hit that far in a while. I got away with a bunch. They popped some up. Overall, I have to work knees down, that's my goal."
The Royals made it 5-2 in the fourth. Angel Berroa's double scored Emil Brown, who opened the inning with a single, and Andres Blanco's sacrifice fly scored Berroa.
The Royals scored three more runs in the fifth and chased Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman (14-13). The inning included doubles by Stairs, Berroa and Mark Teahen. Buck contributed a run-scoring single.
"I didn't have any movement on my sinker and I left some balls over the plate," Bonderman said. "My pitches were flat all day. It's frustrating. I've pitched well at times lately. Other times I haven't. There's been no consistency whatsoever. I haven't pitched well enough to give us a chance to win."
Bonderman gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He has lost four consecutive starts and seven of eight.
"I don't think Jeremy was sharp," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "Velocity-wise he was fine, but location he was not. He didn't have it. We got pounded. Honestly, it could have been worse. We scored in three innings and all three times we gave up runs. It's another nail in the coffin for a team that is already kind of fragile. It was not pretty."
The Royals added a run in the sixth, which Aaron Guiel led off with a double and scored on a Sweeney single.
Shelton homered in the first. Ivan Rodriguez, who leads all active players with a .357 average against the Royals, doubled home Placido Polanco in the fourth with the second Detroit run.
Pena homered with Shelton aboard in the sixth. Pena has 11 home runs and 24 RBI in 26 games since being recalled on Aug. 17.
Rodriguez threw out Blanco trying to steal second base to end the second inning. Rodriguez tops American League catchers by throwing out 44.8 percent of attempted base stealers. ... 2B Polanco returned to the Detroit lineup after not starting the prior two games with a sore shoulder. ... The Royals play their next seven games at home. They are 4-22 in their past 26 road games. The Royals were outscored 170-94, the pitching staff had a 6.43 ERA and opponents hit .314 during those games.
|Players of the Game|
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|Curtis Granderson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.306|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.329|
|Chris Shelton, 1B||2||2||1||1||1||0||0||.296|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.307|
|Carlos Pena, DH||4||1||1||2||0||2||2||.239|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.282|
|Craig Monroe, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.274|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.257|
|Omar Infante, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.221|
|2B - Ivan Rodriguez (32, Wood)|
|HR - Chris Shelton (15, Wood), Carlos Pena (14, Wood)|
|RBI - Chris Shelton (52), Carlos Pena 2 (38), Ivan Rodriguez (50)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Shelton (11), Carlos Pena 2 (14), Ivan Rodriguez (12)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Outfield Assists - Magglio Ordonez 1|
|DP - Rodriguez-Infante|
|Jeremy Bonderman (L,14-13)||4.2||11||7||7||0||3||1||4.57|
|HBP - Guiel (by Franklyn German)|
|WP - Franklyn German (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 71-50, Jason Karnuth 7-6, Jason Grilli 33-20, Franklyn German 26-13, Doug Creek 3-1|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 5-5, Jason Karnuth 1-0, Jason Grilli 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 24, Jason Karnuth 3, Jason Grilli 9, Franklyn German 5, Doug Creek 1|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Aaron Guiel, CF||4||2||2||0||0||1||1||.300|
|Terrence Long, LF||4||1||1||0||1||0||3||.278|
|Mike Sweeney, DH||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.293|
|Matt Stairs, 1B||5||2||3||3||0||1||2||.279|
|Emil Brown, RF||5||1||3||1||0||1||3||.289|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||5||1||2||1||0||0||5||.239|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||2||2||2||0||0||1||.269|
|John Buck, C||4||0||3||1||0||1||0||.236|
|Andres Blanco, 2B||3||0||0||1||0||0||2||.237|
|2B - Aaron Guiel (4, Grilli), Matt Stairs (25, Bonderman), Mark Teahen (27, Bonderman), Angel Berroa 2 (20, Bonderman, Karnuth)|
|HR - Matt Stairs (13, Bonderman)|
|SF - Andres Blanco (1)|
|RBI - Mike Sweeney (75), Matt Stairs 3 (60), Emil Brown (79), Mark Teahen (47), Angel Berroa 2 (52), John Buck (39), Andres Blanco (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Emil Brown (21), Mark Teahen (25), Angel Berroa (23), John Buck (12)|
|CS - Andres Blanco (1, 2nd base by Bonderman/Rodriguez)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Mike Wood (W,5-7)||5.2||5||4||4||1||4||2||3.94|
|HBP - Shelton (by Mike Wood)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Wood 104-63, Ambiorix Burgos 17-10, Jeremy Affeldt 24-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Wood 7-6, Ambiorix Burgos 2-2, Jeremy Affeldt 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Wood 24, Ambiorix Burgos 4, Jeremy Affeldt 6|
|Attendance - 8915|
|Game Time - 2:45|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Rob Drake|