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Detroit at Kansas City

Scoreboard
Detroit (71-62)000000000070
Kansas City (59-72) «50000000x580

Royals 5, Tigers 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jim Leyland figures an inspirational speech is the last thing his struggling Detroit Tigers need.

More than anything, after getting shut out by Kansas City 5-0 on Wednesday night, the Tigers could use a strong performance on Thursday by Jeremy Bonderman to avoid a three-game sweep in a stadium where they were on a 14-1 tear just two days earlier.

"Now is not the time for a rah-rah speech," Leyland said after seeing his club fall 4½ games behind Cleveland in the AL Central.

"This is a big man's game. These guys know what they need to do. When nobody's on, we get a hit. We get somebody on and we can't get a hit. Two days ago we scored 16 runs. It's a tough game to explain."

Esteban German hit a go-ahead triple in a five-run first inning against rookie Andrew Miller and the Royals used four pitchers to hand the Tigers their second shutout of the year.

The 4½-game deficit matches the largest of the season for the defending AL champions. Detroit was also that far out after play on June 1.

"I don't worry so much about Cleveland," Leyland said. "We can make up four or five games in a hurry, but not if we're playing the way we're playing, pitching the way we're pitching. We've just got to keep battling, and we will."

Miller (5-5) got only two outs in his 13th major league start, allowing five runs, five hits, two walks and two hit batters as Detroit has lost eight of its last 12 games. The left-hander could not readily recall a worse outing at any level.

"I'm sure I've had some bad ones," he said. "I've never had any that are probably this bad and in this important a situation. It hurts."

A big problem was a missing slider, he said.

"I kept putting guys on base and kept giving them more and more opportunities. And you do that, you change the defense and open up holes. And they capitalized," he added in a soft voice.

Zack Greinke pitched four shutout innings in his second strong start since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 24. On a strict pitch count, the right-hander allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked one.

"Very good. Better than the first (start)," said manager Buddy Bell. "I thought he was real good the first time. I thought tonight he was even better. His command was better."

Rookie Ryan Braun (2-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings of two-hit relief for his second major league win. David Riske pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and got his fourth save in seven chances, his first since May 16.

Miller, the sixth overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft, began the game by hitting leadoff batter David DeJesus, giving the Royals a team-record 77 hit batters. It was also the 17th time DeJesus has been plunked, leaving him one short of the team's season mark.

After German's RBI triple, the Royals loaded the bases on Mark Grudzielanek's RBI single, another hit batter and Emil Brown's single.

Still with no one out, Alex Gordon grounded an RBI single into right field, and Tony Pena Jr. made it 5-0 with a two-run single into almost the same spot.

No. 8 hitter Joey Gathright fanned for the first out and catcher Ivan Rodriguez turned it into a double play by throwing out Gordon carelessly straying off second. After Miller walked Jason LaRue and DeJesus, Zach Miner came out of the bullpen and ended the inning with a forceout.

Detroit loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but Riske came on and retired Placido Polanco on his first pitch, getting a flyout.

Miller may come out of the rotation, Leyland said.

"We're going to hash that over after you guys leave," he said, referring to the media. "We're going to talk out what is best for him. It's pretty intense up here this time of year. We don't want to do something foolish."

Notes

Detroit lost 3-0 to the New York Mets on June 8. ... When the Royals beat Detroit 6-3 Tuesday night despite getting outhit 16-6, it was the first time a team had 10 more hits than its opponent but lost a nine-inning game since Detroit beat Anaheim 4-3 on May 17, 1998 (four hits to the Angels' 14). The Royals had never done it. ... LHP Kenny Rogers is expected to throw a three-inning simulated game on Friday in Oakland. ... With 31 games left, the Royals need only four more victories to snap a streak of three straight 100-loss years.

 
Copyright 2014 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 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3000011 .290
   a- Ryan Raburn, PH-CF0000100 .333
Placido Polanco, 2B4020003 .341
Marcus Thames, LF4010011 .248
Magglio Ordonez, DH4000013 .356
Carlos Guillen, SS4000032 .302
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000010 .274
Sean Casey, 1B4020000 .280
Timo Perez, RF3020100 .267
Brandon Inge, 3B3000125 .239
Totals3307039  
a-walked for Granderson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Timo Perez 2 (3, Greinke, Braun)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Guillen, Inge-Polanco-Casey, Guillen-Polanco-Casey
PB - Ivan Rodriguez (7)
Detroit Tigers
Andrew Miller (L,5-5) 0.2555210 5.63
Zach Miner 4200120 3.29
Tim Byrdak 1.1000010 3.93
Fernando Rodney 1000010 3.99
Bobby Seay 1100010 2.75
HBP - DeJesus (by Andrew Miller), Butler (by Andrew Miller)
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Miller 43-25, Zach Miner 47-30, Tim Byrdak 13-8, Fernando Rodney 12-8, Bobby Seay 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Miner 6-2, Tim Byrdak 1-2, Fernando Rodney 1-1, Bobby Seay 2-0
Batters Faced - Andrew Miller 10, Zach Miner 13, Tim Byrdak 4, Fernando Rodney 3, Bobby Seay 4
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF2100101 .275
Esteban German, 3B4111014 .264
    Ross Gload, 1B0000000 .304
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4131000 .312
Billy Butler, DH3100012 .291
Emil Brown, RF4110002 .242
Alex Gordon, 1B-3B4021001 .247
Tony Pena, SS4012011 .260
Joey Gathright, LF3000030 .338
Jason LaRue, C1000200 .140
Totals2958536  
Batting
2B - Mark Grudzielanek (28, Miner), Alex Gordon (29, Seay)
3B - Esteban German (6, Miller)
RBI - Esteban German (32), Mark Grudzielanek (44), Alex Gordon (46), Tony Pena 2 (40)
PK - Alex Gordon (2, Miller)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Pena-Gordon
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke 4500050 4.07
Ryan Braun (W,2-0) 2.2200130 6.10
Jimmy Gobble0000100 3.30
David Riske (S,4) 2.1000110 2.39
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 71-49, Ryan Braun 35-22, Jimmy Gobble 4-0, David Riske 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 3-4, Ryan Braun 3-1, David Riske 2-4
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 17, Ryan Braun 10, Jimmy Gobble 1, David Riske 8
Game Information
Attendance - 11628
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg