|Kansas City «||7||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||9||15||1|
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers know they are playing on Tuesday no matter what happens Sunday.
That's why Tigers manager Jim Leyland isn't going to dwell on Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. He was even able to joke about the Tigers missing a chance to clinch the AL Central.
"This is over with, you can't bring this game back. I'm not going to be disappointed long," Leyland said. "I guess everybody knows that I was accurate on one thing this year, I said it was going to go down to the wire."
Detroit would have wrapped up the division with a win after the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 earlier in the day, cutting the Tigers' magic number to one. Detroit ends the regular season Sunday against the Royals.
"No one is going to have a problem getting up for this game," Sean Casey said. "It's to win the division. I think the guys will be excited. It's what we've been shooting for all year."
With a win or Twins loss on Sunday, Detroit will take the AL Central and host Oakland for the start of the division series and Minnesota will be the wild card and open on the road against the New York Yankees. However, if the Twins win and the Tigers lose, Minnesota will take the division and host the A's and Detroit will go to New York.
Following a 1½-hour rain delay at the start Saturday night, Kansas City sent 12 batters to the plate in a seven-run first inning.
Joey Gathright opened the game with a double and advanced to third when Esteban German singled to cap a 10-pitch at-bat. David DeJesus hit the first of his two triples in the game for a 2-0 lead and Mike Sweeney followed with a two-run homer, giving the Royals a cycle with the first four batters.
"We had a great first inning and then we just hung on," interim Royals manager Bill Doran said. "We knew they would come roaring back with that offense, so we were going to need every run we could get. We did enough to win."
The boos from the sellout crowd turned to cheers when Tigers manager Jim Leyland pulled starter Zach Miner (7-6) after 32 pitches. Miner only lasted one-third of an inning, allowing five hits and five runs.
Leyland said Miner was throwing well in warmups.
"He's a sinkerball pitcher, all his pitches were up in the zone. I don't have any problem with that, he hadn't started in a while," Leyland said.
"I stunk, I didn't do my job," Miller said. "I came with a chance to keep us in the game and I didn't do that."
Carlos Guillen had an RBI single in the bottom of the first and Detroit scored three runs in the third to pull to 7-4. Placido Polanco scored when third baseman German misplayed Guillen's grounder, and Matt Stairs hit a two-run double.
Burgos gave up four runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings in his first start of the season.
DeJesus tripled and scored on Sweeney's sacrifice fly to stretch the Royals' lead to 8-4 in the fourth.
Three Royals players misjudged Brandon Inge's pop up in the bottom of the fourth. No one touched it and it was ruled a base hit. Inge advanced to third on Casey's single then scored on Magglio Ordonez's hit to cut the deficit to 8-5.
"Obviously, it was great to get that big first inning, and then the pitchers did a nice job of holding them off," DeJesus said. "They were scoring, but only one at a time, so we were able to hold on."
Royals second baseman Angel Sanchez made a sliding stop and throw to get Guillen at first to end the threat, leaving two runners stranded in the fourth.
Detroit pulled to 8-6 when Polanco singled to drive in Curtis Granderson, whose triple led off the sixth.
Jeff Keppinger added an RBI single in the seventh for the Royals.
|K.C.'s Angel Sanchez, Joey Gathright and Emil Brown collide in right field trying to track down a ball. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Joey Gathright, CF||4||1||3||2||1||0||1||.239|
|Esteban German, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||0||3||.325|
|David DeJesus, LF||5||2||2||2||0||2||2||.295|
|Mike Sweeney, DH||4||1||3||3||0||0||0||.258|
|Emil Brown, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.285|
|Paul Phillips, C||5||2||2||0||0||1||1||.283|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.233|
|Jeff Keppinger, 1B||4||1||2||1||1||1||0||.255|
|Angel Sanchez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.143|
|2B - Joey Gathright (12, Miner), Mike Sweeney (15, Durbin), Jeff Keppinger (2, Miller)|
|3B - David DeJesus 2 (7, Miner, Miller)|
|HR - Mike Sweeney (8, Miner)|
|SF - Mike Sweeney (3)|
|SH - Angel Berroa (9)|
|RBI - Joey Gathright 2 (41), David DeJesus 2 (55), Mike Sweeney 3 (33), Jeff Keppinger (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Joey Gathright 2 (18)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Esteban German (8, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Todd Wellemeyer (H,4; W,1-4)||4||3||1||1||1||2||0||4.14|
|Jimmy Gobble (S,2)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.23|
|WP - Ambiorix Burgos 2 (11)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ambiorix Burgos 59-36, Adam Bernero 31-18, Todd Wellemeyer 59-35, Jimmy Gobble 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ambiorix Burgos 5-2, Adam Bernero 1-2, Todd Wellemeyer 8-2, Jimmy Gobble 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Ambiorix Burgos 16, Adam Bernero 7, Todd Wellemeyer 16, Jimmy Gobble 3|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.262|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||4||1||2||1||1||0||1||.297|
|Sean Casey, 1B||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.274|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||5||0||2||1||0||0||2||.296|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||5||1||1||1||0||1||3||.317|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.296|
|Matt Stairs, DH||3||0||2||2||1||0||0||.246|
|Craig Monroe, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.256|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.254|
|2B - Matt Stairs 2 (21, Burgos, Wellemeyer)|
|3B - Curtis Granderson (9, Wellemeyer)|
|RBI - Placido Polanco (52), Magglio Ordonez (103), Carlos Guillen (84), Matt Stairs 2 (50)|
|2-OUT RBI - Magglio Ordonez (39), Carlos Guillen (31), Matt Stairs 2 (23)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Guillen-Polanco-Casey|
|Zach Miner (L,7-6)||0.1||5||5||5||0||0||1||4.84|
|WP - Andrew Miller (1), Jason Grilli 2 (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zach Miner 32-19, Andrew Miller 56-30, Jason Grilli 46-32, Jamie Walker 4-2, Chad Durbin 34-25|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Miller 6-0, Jason Grilli 7-2|
|Batters Faced - Zach Miner 6, Andrew Miller 15, Jason Grilli 15, Jamie Walker 1, Chad Durbin 7|
|Attendance - 40071|
|Game Time - 3:22|
|Temperature - 56|
|Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Doug Eddings|