Kansas City at Detroit

Scoreboard
Kansas City (67-87) «3200001107132
Detroit (84-71)1002000014151

Reigning AL champion Tigers moved to brink of elimination

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Saturday afternoon, Jim Leyland still had hope. By the end of the night, it was mostly gone.

Shortly before his Detroit Tigers took on Kansas City, Leyland saw that Toronto was leading the New York Yankees. The manager had a long-shot scenario in mind for taking the AL wild card.

"If Toronto holds on, and we win tonight, it's 3½," he said. "Then we get one tomorrow, the Yankees lose again, and suddenly it's 2½ with a week to play."

Unfortunately for the defending American League champions, things didn't work out that way. The Royals once again beat Kenny Rogers and the Tigers in a key game, hours after the Yankees rallied to win.

The Tigers now trail the Yankees by 5½ games with only seven left to play. In the AL Central, Cleveland's magic number for eliminating Detroit is down to one.

"Everybody else is going be more dramatic than I am," Leyland said. "It's sad that we're probably not going to the postseason, but that's the way it goes. The Cardinals and us were in the World Series last year, and it looks like neither of us is going to make it this year. That happens."

Mark Grudzielanek was the hitting star for Kansas City, going 4-for-5 against his favorite opponents. He is now batting .647 in his career against Rogers and .355 against Detroit this year.

"I've made a few mistakes against him, and he just seems to take advantage of every one of them," Rogers said. "He's in trouble next year -- that average is going down. At least I got him out once today."

Last year, the Royals beat Rogers on the final day of the season, giving the AL Central to the Minnesota Twins.

Kyle Davies (3-7) won for just the second time in eight starts, giving up three runs and nine hits with a walk in 5 1/3 innings.

"I was really feeling the ball well coming out of my hand, and it had some life to it," he said. "It was good."

Magglio Ordonez had four hits, including an RBI single off Joakim Soria in the ninth that got the Tigers within 7-4 and raised his batting average to .358.

"Maggs is having one of those years," Leyland said. "He hits it hard all over the park. He's been fantastic."

Rogers (3-3) extended his winless streak to seven starts, allowing five runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in six innings.

The Royals scored three in the first, then took a 5-1 lead with two more in the second.

Esteban German and Grudzielanek led off the game with singles. After Billy Butler popped out, Mike Sweeney grounded to third, but Brandon Inge threw wildly to second, allowing German to score.

Mark Teahen moved the runners up with a groundout, and Emil Brown ended a 2-for-22 slump against Rogers with a two-run single.

Curtis Granderson led off the bottom half with a homer, but Rogers continued to struggle in the second. After striking out the first two batters, he walked German and Grudzielanek hit an RBI double -- his eighth hit in his last nine at-bats against Rogers.

"That was the biggest hit of the game," manager Buddy Bell said. "We've had too many games where we score in one inning and then stop, so it was important to come right back after they scored."

Butler walked and Sweeney made it 5-1 with a single -- the last run Rogers allowed.

"It was good to get those early runs," Sweeney said. "Kenny shut us down after that, but we got enough."

The Tigers got within 5-3 on Timo Perez's two-run double in the fourth, but he was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a triple.

Detroit had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, but reliever John Bale struck out Inge on a 13-pitch at-bat and got Granderson to ground out.

The Royals made it 6-3 in the seventh when Teahen hit into a bases-loaded double play, and Grudzielanek hit an RBI double in the eighth.

Notes

  • Granderson's leadoff homer was his seventh of the season, breaking the franchise record he set last season.
  • Rogers won his three postseason starts last year, then won his first three starts this season, but is 0-3 since July 14.
  • Jason LaRue struck out in his first three at-bats before grounding out weakly in his fourth. He is hitting .074 (5-for-67) in his last 26 games.
 
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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Placido Polanco's Tigers are still fighting to join the party in October, but just barely.  (AP)
Placido Polanco's Tigers are still fighting to join the party in October, but just barely. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Ordonez
AB 5
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Kansas City

M. Grudzielanek
AB 5
R 3
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Kansas City Royals
Esteban German, LF3210102 .265
    David DeJesus, CF1110000 .267
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5342010 .298
Billy Butler, 1B3020102 .301
    Ross Gload, PR-1B0000100 .290
Mike Sweeney, DH5122013 .263
Mark Teahen, CF-RF5000013 .280
Emil Brown, RF-LF4022110 .258
Alex Gordon, 3B5000004 .254
Jason LaRue, C4000031 .150
Tony Pena, SS4010020 .259
Totals39713649  
Batting
2B - Esteban German (14, Rogers), Mark Grudzielanek 2 (32, Rogers, Miner)
3B - David DeJesus (9, Miner)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek 2 (50), Mike Sweeney 2 (38), Emil Brown 2 (61)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Grudzielanek 2 (21), Mike Sweeney (17), Emil Brown 2 (18)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Emil Brown 1
DP - Grudzielanek-Pena-Gload
E - Emil Brown (6, Misplayed grounder), Alex Gordon (13, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Kyle Davies (W,7-14) 5.1933111 5.92
John Bale (H,3) 0.2100010 4.46
Joel Peralta (H,6) 1200010 3.84
Jimmy Gobble 1100010 2.96
Joakim Soria 1211010 2.59
WP - Kyle Davies (5), John Bale (2), Jimmy Gobble (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Davies 84-53, John Bale 20-16, Joel Peralta 15-12, Jimmy Gobble 15-10, Joakim Soria 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Davies 8-6, John Bale 1-0, Jimmy Gobble 1-0, Joakim Soria 2-0
Batters Faced - Kyle Davies 25, John Bale 3, Joel Peralta 5, Jimmy Gobble 3, Joakim Soria 5
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5231003 .302
Placido Polanco, 2B5000011 .340
Gary Sheffield, DH4000121 .267
Magglio Ordonez, RF5041002 .358
Carlos Guillen, SS5110004 .294
Ivan Rodriguez, C4120000 .280
Timo Perez, LF3022000 .427
   a- Ryan Raburn, PH-LF1000001 .298
Sean Casey, 1B4030000 .294
Brandon Inge, 3B4000024 .240
Totals40415415  
a-grounded into a double play for Perez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Curtis Granderson (37, Soria), Magglio Ordonez (50, Davies), Carlos Guillen (34, Davies), Timo Perez (8, Davies), Sean Casey (30, Gobble)
HR - Curtis Granderson (23, Davies)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (73), Magglio Ordonez (133), Timo Perez 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Magglio Ordonez (43)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Polanco-Guillen-Casey, Guillen-Polanco-Casey
E - Brandon Inge (18, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Kenny Rogers (L,3-3) 6853260 4.26
Jason Grilli0311000 4.91
Bobby Seay 1000100 2.42
Zach Miner 1211110 3.10
Clay Rapada 1000020 11.57
IBB - E. Brown by Bobby Seay, Gload by Zach Miner
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 90-55, Jason Grilli 5-3, Bobby Seay 10-4, Zach Miner 21-11, Clay Rapada 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 8-4, Bobby Seay 1-1, Zach Miner 1-1, Clay Rapada 1-0
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 28, Jason Grilli 3, Bobby Seay 3, Zach Miner 6, Clay Rapada 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41792
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg