Detroit at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: B. Bannister (11-7) L: N. Robertson (7-11)
HR: DET - None   KC - B. Butler (6)

Royals 6, Tigers 3 wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Needing a win to keep pace in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers ran into a familiar nemesis: the Kansas City Royals.

Brian Bannister won for the sixth time in seven decisions, Alex Gordon hit a three-run double and the Royals beat the Tigers 6-3 Tuesday night.

"We've got to pitch better," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Our starting pitchers have to get on a roll if we're going to an anything. I'm not worried about the standings. I'm only concerned about what our team does. I don't worry about the schedule."

Detroit dropped 3½ games behind division-leading Cleveland, the Tigers' biggest deficit in their division since before play on June 6. The lowly Royals are 5-8 against Detroit this season after taking three in a row from the Tigers on the final weekend of last season -- costing Detroit first place and forcing the Tigers into the wild-card berth.

"I know what they are playing for," Bannister said. "They going for first place or at least the wild card. They've got a lot on the line right now. I know that. They are putting their A lineup out there. I know they know Cleveland won tonight."

Most of Detroit's difficulties against Kansas City have been at Comerica Park: The Tigers had been 14-1 at Kauffman Stadium since the start of the 2006 season but have lost seven of their last 10 against Kansas City at home.

Nate Robertson (7-11) gave up six runs, six hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since June 5. Robertson is 1-5 in his past eight starts.

Magglio Ordonez went 4-for-5 and is hitting .404 in August. Detroit, which outhit the Royals 16-6, stranded 13 runners, including 10 when Bannister was pitching. The Tigers grounded into two double plays went 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

"We got a lot of hits, and they got timely hits," Leyland said. "We get 16 hits and didn't take advantage of a lot of opportunities. When we get 16 hits, normally a couple go over the fence."

Bannister (11-7) leads AL rookies with a 3.27 ERA and his victories are the most by a Royals rookie starter since Kevin Appier won 12 games in 1990. Bannister gave up two runs and 11 hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one. He is 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his past eight starts.

"It had a playoff atmosphere," Bannister said. "You could cut the tension with a knife. They forced my hand and put me in tough spots where for several innings I had to make do-or-die pitches. They are right up there with Boston, New York and Seattle as being the toughest lineups out there. They are just so well put together. You don't have much room to breath out there."

After a 10-pitch walk by John Buck loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, Gordon put the Royals ahead 3-0 with his double.

"They've got a lot to play for and we do to," Gordon said. "Hopefully, we'll make it an interesting race in the Central."

Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double in the fifth, when the Ivan Rodriguez hit into an inning-ending forceout with the bases loaded.

Billy Butler hit a two-run homer in the bottom half following Mark Grudzielanek's RBI single for a 6-1 lead.

Placido Polanco, who had three hits, singled home Sean Casey in the sixth. Carlos Guillen had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

"We were living on the edge all night long," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "It's nice to see somebody else hit into double plays."


Esteban German started in left field for the fourth time this season for the Royals. He has also started at third base, second base, shortstop and DH. ... Tigers 3B Brandon Inge struck out twice, raising his AL-leading total to 132. ... Gordon's double was the first of his career in eight at-bats with the bases loaded.

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
Kansas City

M. Grudzielanek
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0

M. Ordonez
AB 5
R 0
H 4
HR 0

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Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4021022 .292
   a- Ryan Raburn, PH-CF0000100 .333
Placido Polanco, 2B5031002 .340
Timo Perez, LF5110014 .167
Magglio Ordonez, RF5040002 .359
Carlos Guillen, 1B3011113 .305
Ivan Rodriguez, C4010004 .276
Sean Casey, DH5110004 .278
Brandon Inge, 3B4000023 .240
Ramon Santiago, SS4130000 .417
a-walked for Granderson in the 8th
2B - Curtis Granderson (34, Bannister), Timo Perez (1, Soria), Ivan Rodriguez (25, Peralta), Sean Casey (27, Bannister)
SF - Carlos Guillen (7)
SH - Ivan Rodriguez (1)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (63), Placido Polanco (56), Carlos Guillen (89)
2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco (18)
Team LOB - 13
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson (L,7-11) 4.1666421 5.04
Jason Grilli 3.2000020 5.08
WP - Nate Robertson (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 92-53, Jason Grilli 38-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 1-9, Jason Grilli 4-5
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 22, Jason Grilli 11
Kansas City Royals
Esteban German, LF1100200 .264
    Joey Gathright, LF1000000 .345
David DeJesus, CF3000001 .276
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B3221100 .307
Billy Butler, DH4112002 .294
Emil Brown, RF4000013 .242
Ross Gload, 1B4120010 .304
John Buck, C2100101 .224
Alex Gordon, 3B3013011 .245
Tony Pena, SS3000012 .261
2B - Alex Gordon (28, Robertson)
HR - Billy Butler (6, Robertson)
SH - David DeJesus (5)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (43), Billy Butler 2 (42), Alex Gordon 3 (45)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon 3 (20)
SB - Esteban German (9, 2nd base off Robertson/Rodriguez)
CS - Ross Gload (2, 2nd base by Robertson/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Gload-Pena-Peralta, Grudzielanek-Pena-Gload
Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (W,11-7) 61122150 3.27
Joel Peralta 1.1300010 3.87
Jimmy Gobble 0.2000100 3.30
Joakim Soria 1211000 2.65
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 98-65, Joel Peralta 23-14, Jimmy Gobble 9-4, Joakim Soria 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 7-6, Joel Peralta 1-1, Jimmy Gobble 1-0, Joakim Soria 1-2
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 30, Joel Peralta 6, Jimmy Gobble 2, Joakim Soria 5
Game Information
Attendance - 16193
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 93
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Mike Reilly