Kansas City at Detroit

Scoreboard
Kansas City (36-48)000000100160
Detroit (46-38) «21000000x370

Tigers rookie French outduels Greinke for first career win

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DETROIT -- Luke French didn't allow himself a chance to focus on who he was pitching against until after the game.

After earning his first career victory, he took a moment to realize what he had done. Making his second career start, the Tigers rookie outdueled All-Star Zack Greinke as Detroit defeated Kansas City 3-1.

"You can't pitch against the other guy, so you are trying to just think about what you are doing and not worry about him," French said. "But to get my first win, and to get it against a guy like that? Yeah, that's huge. This is something you dream about."

French (1-0) held the Royals to one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"When you are going against a guy like Greinke, you know that you are going to have to get a great game from your starter," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "If you give up three or four runs, he's going to beat you, so I was very happy with what French did tonight."

Three Tigers relievers finished, with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his 19th save in as many tries.

Greinke (10-5) gave up three runs, all in the first two innings, and seven hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked two.

"I wasn't hit that hard, but it won the game for them," he said. "It's a tough one, because I pitched pretty good and kept them off balance. In the first two innings, everything that could go wrong did."

Billy Butler had three doubles for the Royals.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first, helped by Kansas City's first defensive mistake. Curtis Granderson walked and Placido Polanco singled to left. Polanco took a large turn, then easily moved to second as David DeJesus threw toward the plate.

"He gives up the leadoff walk, and then we let Polanco walk to second because we don't get the ball to the base," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "That hurt us."

Marcus Thames drove in the first run with a ground out, and Clete Thomas singled to second to make it 2-0.

"The play by Polanco was huge," Leyland said. "First, he executes the hit-and-run, and then he gets to second base. If he doesn't do that, the ball by Thames is a double play, and we don't score."

Detroit added a third run in the second when Josh Anderson doubled, took third when Greinke couldn't handle Gerald Laird's bunt single, and scored on Ramon Santiago's sacrifice fly.

"That was a stupid play, because it was a terrible bunt," Greinke said. "If I catch that, it is a double play, and even then, I made a five-hop throw to first."

Greinke struck out eight batters in the next four innings, but the Royals couldn't take advantage until Alberto Callaspo's seventh-inning homer.

"We just didn't do anything offensively to get Zack back in the game," Hillman said.

Notes

  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before the game that Thomas and Magglio Ordonez will platoon in right field, with Thomas playing against right-handed pitchers and Ordonez against lefties. Ordonez sat out Wednesday's game, but is expected to start Friday against Cleveland's Cliff Lee.
  • The Tigers and the Phillies announced a "Vote Bran Torino" campaign, where the teams would work together to campaign for Brandon Inge and Shane Victorino for the "Final Vote" to pick the last All-Star for each league. "I thought this was going to be a simple vote, and they'd just tell me Thursday who won," an amused Inge said. "I never expected this kind of hype."
  • Greinke was 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his previous two starts at Comerica Park.
  • French has a 2.45 ERA in his two starts, and a 1.93 ERA in four major league appearances.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Luke French will remember his first career win after beating All-Star righty Zack Greinke.  (AP)
Luke French will remember his first career win after beating All-Star righty Zack Greinke. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

L. French
IP 6.1
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 2
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

Related Video

December 19, 2014
Fantasy Update: Travis Kelce (0:37)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Alex Smith
(0:40)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Albert Wilson
(0:37)
December 9, 2014
Alex Smith joins Jim Rome
(4:26)
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF4000010 .255
Willie Bloomquist, SS-RF4000010 .278
Billy Butler, 1B4030010 .293
Jose Guillen, DH4000003 .246
Mark Teahen, 3B4000021 .284
Miguel Olivo, C4010020 .249
Alberto Callaspo, 2B3111001 .301
Ryan Freel, CF2010100 .167
Mitch Maier, RF2000002 .212
   a- Brayan Pena, PH1000001 .319
    Tony Pena Jr., SS0000000 .089
Totals3216117  
a-grounded into a double play for Maier in the 7th
Batting
2B - Billy Butler 3 (26, French, French, French)
HR - Alberto Callaspo (6, French)
RBI - Alberto Callaspo (33)
Team LOB - 5
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (L,10-5) 6733290 2.12
Juan Cruz 1.1000020 4.30
John Bale 0.2000010 6.08
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 100-61, Juan Cruz 18-11, John Bale 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 5-4, John Bale 1-0
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 27, Juan Cruz 4, John Bale 2
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3100112 .255
Placido Polanco, 2B4120001 .265
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010024 .323
Marcus Thames, DH4001021 .248
Clete Thomas, RF4011011 .237
Brandon Inge, 3B3000131 .264
Josh Anderson, LF3110012 .252
Gerald Laird, C3020000 .243
Ramon Santiago, SS2001021 .269
Totals30373212  
Batting
2B - Josh Anderson (4, Greinke)
SF - Ramon Santiago (2)
RBI - Marcus Thames (19), Clete Thomas (18), Ramon Santiago (25)
2-OUT RBI - Clete Thomas (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Inge-Polanco-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Luke French (W,1-0) 6.1611121 1.93
Fu-Te Ni (H,1) 1000010 1.50
Brandon Lyon (H,6) 0.2000020 3.77
Fernando Rodney (S,19) 1000020 4.03
Pitches-Strikes - Luke French 101-64, Fu-Te Ni 8-6, Brandon Lyon 11-7, Fernando Rodney 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke French 8-9, Fu-Te Ni 1-0
Batters Faced - Luke French 26, Fu-Te Ni 2, Brandon Lyon 2, Fernando Rodney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29104
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Field Culbreth