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Kansas City (37-45)000020000270
Detroit (42-42) «00200200x490

Smyly strikes out 10 in Tigers' win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Every 94 years, a Tigers rookie has a game like Drew Smyly.

On May 24, 1918, Swedish-born Eric Erickson struck out 12 without walking a batter in a 16-inning complete game.

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Until Friday night, no other Tigers rookie had been able to hit double-digit strikeouts in a game without walking a batter. Not only did Smyly do that against Kansas City in a 4-2 win, he needed 10 fewer innings than Erickson.

"Tonight was exceptional, because he's not an overpowering pitcher," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But he's got a good feel for pitching, and I like him a lot. I think he has a chance to be an outstanding pitcher in two or three years, and some people don't think it will take that long."

Smyly, making his 15th career start, struck out a career-high 10 while allowing two runs on six hits.

He improved to 4-3 and helped get the Tigers (42-42) back to .500 for the first time since May 15. They had failed the last eight times when needing one win to reach the mark.

"It means we've been winning," said Delmon Young, who hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth. "Drew kept us in the ballgame so we didn't have to panic and try to score runs early. Most 22-year-olds are in A-ball or Double-A, and he's in the big leagues, carrying himself like a veteran."

Four Detroit relievers finished, with Jose Valverde pitching the ninth for his 16th save in 19 tries.

Jonathan Sanchez (1-5) saw his winless streak extend to 10 starts, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He has not won since beating the Los Angeles Angels on April 8.

"He was definitely better," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "His strike ratio was better and his command was better. He just made two mistakes -- one was a two-run triple and one was a two-run homer."

Sanchez acknowledged that he made progress, but was far from content.

"The results are still not good enough," he said. "Today was better, yes, but I have to do more in the second half of the season. I just have to do better."

The Tigers broke the scoreless tie in the third, when Ramon Santiago and Austin Jackson singled before coming home on Quintin Berry's fourth triple.

Smyly only allowed one hit and struck out nine in the first four innings, but the Royals tied the game in the fifth.

"You just can't see much here in the first four innings," Yost said. "That's not an excuse -- we have a pitcher out there who can take advantage of it as well, but it is really tough for hitters."

With one out, Mike Moustakas bounced a ground-rule double over the 420-foot sign in center field, and Smyly appeared in pain after the pitch. He was checked by trainer Kevin Rand, but stayed in the game.

"On that pitch, I just tweaked my side," he said. "I just needed to stretch it out a bit."

The next batter lined out, but Brayan Pena made it 2-1 with a double and Jason Bourgeois tied the game with a run-scoring single. The Royals put runners on second and third in the sixth, but Smyly got Moustakas to end the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, Young hit a 3-1 pitch deep over the bullpens in left for his eighth homer -- his second in two days -- and a 4-2 Detroit lead.

Notes

  • Smyly was the first Tigers rookie to reach double figures in strikeouts since Mark Leiter had 10 in 1991.
  • Sanchez walked three batters, giving him 15 in his last three starts.
  • The Tigers are 67-47 against Kansas City since Jim Leyland took over in 2006.
 
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In his 15th career start, Drew Smyly strikes out a career-high 10 batters to lead the Tigers over the Royals.  (Getty Images)
In his 15th career start, Drew Smyly strikes out a career-high 10 batters to lead the Tigers over the Royals. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Detroit

D. Young
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Detroit

D. Smyly
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 0
K 10
 

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Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF4000022 .271
Alcides Escobar, SS4000030 .305
Eric Hosmer, 1B4000010 .230
Billy Butler, DH4020010 .289
Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B4010011 .248
Mike Moustakas, 3B4110013 .269
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000022 .253
Brayan Pena, C3111000 .269
Jason Bourgeois, CF2011000 .333
   a- Jarrod Dyson, PH-CF1010000 .254
Totals34272011  
a-singled for Bourgeois in the 7th
Batting
2B - Yuniesky Betancourt (10, Smyly), Mike Moustakas (21, Smyly), Brayan Pena (9, Smyly)
RBI - Brayan Pena (16), Jason Bourgeois (4)
2-OUT RBI - Brayan Pena (11), Jason Bourgeois (1)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (15, 2nd base off Coke/Avila)
Team LOB - 5
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathan Sanchez (L,1-5) 5.2644321 6.75
Jose Mijares 1.1200030 1.62
Louis Coleman 1100130 4.50
IBB - Avila by Louis Coleman
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 101-60, Jose Mijares 21-15, Louis Coleman 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 7-8
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 26, Jose Mijares 6, Louis Coleman 5
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5110034 .329
Quintin Berry, RF-LF4012020 .294
Miguel Cabrera, DH4020001 .327
Prince Fielder, 1B4110003 .297
Delmon Young, LF3112000 .268
    Don Kelly, 3B1000011 .185
Ryan Raburn, 2B-RF3010100 .175
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000012 .253
Alex Avila, C1000300 .246
Ramon Santiago, 3B-2B4120014 .228
Totals3349448  
Batting
2B - Ryan Raburn (11, Coleman)
3B - Quintin Berry (4, Sanchez)
HR - Delmon Young (8, Sanchez)
RBI - Quintin Berry 2 (15), Delmon Young 2 (34)
Team LOB - 9
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Drew Smyly (W,4-3) 66220100 4.42
Brayan Villarreal (H,4) 0.2100000 1.57
Phil Coke (H,14) 0.1000000 3.28
Joaquin Benoit (H,20) 1000000 2.31
Jose Valverde (S,16) 1000010 3.44
Pitches-Strikes - Drew Smyly 106-71, Brayan Villarreal 12-8, Phil Coke 3-2, Joaquin Benoit 14-10, Jose Valverde 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Drew Smyly 3-5, Brayan Villarreal 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 2-1, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Drew Smyly 24, Brayan Villarreal 3, Phil Coke 1, Joaquin Benoit 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39144
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 94
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Victor Carapazza