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Detroit at Kansas City

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Detroit (72-62) «0100401006130
Kansas City (59-73)000100000160

Ordonez continues hot August, helps spare Tigers of sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Magglio Ordonez is much more interested in the American League standings than the batting race.

Ordonez homered and got three hits Thursday, raising his major league-leading average to .359 and helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-1 to avoid a three-game sweep.

"I don't check the batting race. I'm just going to go up there and do my job," said Ordonez, looking for his first batting title. "I'm just going to play baseball, and we'll see after the season."

Jeremy Bonderman (11-7) pitched seven strong innings to snap his six-game losing streak. Curtis Granderson joined Ordonez with three hits and a home run.

"It's about time to do everything -- hitting and pitching," said Ordonez, who had three RBI. "We haven't done that in a while. It was good for our team."

The Tigers began the day 4½ games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central and three back in the wild-card chase.

"I think we have a great chance to make the playoffs," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "I think we've got a shot. Why not? There are a lot of games to be played yet. What it boils down to is what I've been talking about all year long. You can't just say you've got a shot. You've got to go out there and do something about it. But I like our team."

Bonderman gave up six hits and one run, his best outing since beating Seattle on July 13 for his previous win. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"His ball was moving better. He really looked good," Leyland said. "Took the game in hand. I thought he really pitched well."

Granderson and Ordonez each homered in a four-run fifth against starter Leo Nunez (2-2), who went 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with six runs and 12 hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He lost for the first time in six career decisions at home.

The slender right-hander struck out four straight batters before Granderson homered on a 3-1 fastball with one out in the fifth. Placido Polanco doubled and scored on Timo Perez's third double in two games before Ordonez drove a 1-1 pitch 421 feet over the fence in left for his 26th home run.

"I think he fell in love with his changeup there. He gave us some good innings and we needed some innings today," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.

Granderson had a sacrifice fly in the second inning and singled in the seventh, when he scored on a single by Ordonez that raised the slugger's RBI total to 119. The right fielder has 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 28 games in August.

He said he can't remember a better month.

"I'd have to see the records," he said. "But I'm playing good, feeling good."

With runners at first and second in the seventh, Kansas City rookie Billy Buckner came in and struck out Carlos Guillen and Mike Rabelo to end the inning.

Billy Butler tripled in the fourth for the Royals and scored on Alex Gordon's single. Butler also doubled in the sixth.

The Tigers loaded the bases in the second with three singles and took a 1-0 lead on Granderson's sacrifice fly.

Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr. made a heads-up double play in the eighth when he caught Ramon Santiago's line drive and whipped a throw to first to double off Cameron Maybin.

Notes

  • In a flurry of roster moves, the Tigers optioned rookie LHP Andrew Miller to Class-A Lakeland and recalled RHP Virgil Vasquez from Triple-A Toledo to start Friday night in Oakland. They also acquired LHP Clay Rapada from the Cubs and RHP Chris Lambert from St. Louis in the completion of earlier trades.
  • The Royals last swept three at home from Detroit in April 2003.
  • Bonderman is 9-5 in his career against Kansas City.
  • The Royals recalled 1B Ryan Shealy from Triple-A Omaha and placed him on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. They'll make another move before Friday's doubleheader at Minnesota.
 
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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Magglio Ordonez homers and finishes 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. He has 10 dingers and 31 RBI in August.  (AP)
Magglio Ordonez homers and finishes 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. He has 10 dingers and 31 RBI in August. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

J. Bonderman
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 3
Detroit

M. Ordonez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4232000 .294
Placido Polanco, 2B5120004 .342
Timo Perez, DH4121111 .316
Magglio Ordonez, RF4133000 .359
    Ryan Raburn, RF1000001 .330
Carlos Guillen, 1B4000014 .299
Mike Rabelo, C4000032 .265
Brandon Inge, 3B4110010 .239
Cameron Maybin, LF3010110 .222
Ramon Santiago, SS4010011 .375
Totals37613628  
Batting
2B - Placido Polanco 2 (30, Nunez, Buckner), Timo Perez (4, Nunez)
HR - Curtis Granderson (18, Nunez), Magglio Ordonez (26, Nunez)
SF - Curtis Granderson (2)
RBI - Curtis Granderson 2 (65), Timo Perez (1), Magglio Ordonez 3 (119)
Team LOB - 7
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (W,11-7) 7611030 4.72
Fernando Rodney 1000010 3.89
Joel Zumaya 1000000 4.22
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 87-63, Fernando Rodney 11-9, Joel Zumaya 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 13-5, Fernando Rodney 2-0, Joel Zumaya 1-2
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 27, Fernando Rodney 3, Joel Zumaya 3
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4000001 .272
Jason Smith, 2B4000011 .198
Ross Gload, 1B4000000 .299
Billy Butler, DH4120000 .294
Alex Gordon, 3B4011021 .247
Shane Costa, RF4010011 .203
Tony Pena, SS3000002 .259
Joey Gathright, LF3010000 .338
John Buck, C3010001 .225
Totals3316104  
Batting
2B - Billy Butler (16, Bonderman), Shane Costa (2, Bonderman)
3B - Billy Butler (2, Bonderman)
RBI - Alex Gordon (47)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Pena-Gload, Gordon-Gload
Kansas City Royals
Leo Nunez (L,2-2) 6.11266062 4.05
Billy Buckner 2.2100220 1.17
Pitches-Strikes - Leo Nunez 95-69, Billy Buckner 35-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Leo Nunez 3-10, Billy Buckner 1-3
Batters Faced - Leo Nunez 31, Billy Buckner 9
Game Information
Attendance - 11196
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper