|Kansas City (44-49) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||x||1||5||0|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ervin Santana could be traded before the end of the month, and his superb effort Friday might make some contenders interested.
Santana allowed two singles in 7 1-3 innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Friday night to snap a five-game losing streak. The third-place Royals are seven games behind the first-place Tigers.
Santana, who can be a free agent after the season and has been widely speculated to be traded before the July 31 deadline without a player clearing waivers, did not allow a runner to reach second base. He walked one and struck out six.
"Everything was working, especially my location," Santana said. "Everything was down."
Santana (6-6), who was coming off his worst outing of the season, when he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in a July 11 loss at Cleveland, retired the first 10 Tigers before Torii Hunter's one-out single in the fourth.
"That club over there has the best 2-3-4-5-6 hitters in baseball, I feel," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That shows how you how good Santana was."
Kelvin Herrera, who was just recalled from Triple-A Omaha, replaced Santana in the eighth after he walked Jhonny Peralta with one out. Herrera retired Andy Dirks on a grounder and struck out Alex Avila looking.
"A very good outing," Yost said of Herrera.
Greg Holland worked a flawless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 opportunities, striking out one. He has been perfect in his past 16 save chances.
"Santana was unbelievable," Holland said. "I watched the first three innings in here [clubhouse] on TV and I thought he had a chance to throw a no-hitter."
That was the only run Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez (7-7) would allow in six innings, but that was one too many.
"I did not know that was going to be enough," Butler said. "It was a pitcher's duel, old-fashioned."
Sanchez, who was making his third start since coming off the disabled list with a shoulder strain, left after 101 pitches, allowing four singles, walking five and striking out three.
"My command today wasn't the best," Sanchez said. "A lot of times I was behind. I just tried to throw my best pitch. I felt good, I felt healthy. I was strong all day long. I finished my game strong.
"I kept the score right there (after the first-inning run). You have to give them credit sometimes. Santana threw a good ballgame."
The Royals are 4-2 against the American League Central Division-leading Tigers, with five of the games decided by two or less runs.
"Both teams hit the ball better than the results showed," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It was a very good game. Santana pitched good and we swung the bats good, but didn't get much result. We couldn't get some balls to fall. But they earned it."
The Tigers were shut out for the seventh time this season.
|Alex Gordon and the Royals' outfielders celebrate their shutout victory over the Tigers to open the second half. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.276|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.314|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.362|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.265|
|Victor Martinez, DH||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.301|
|Andy Dirks, LF||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.244|
|Alex Avila, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.174|
|Ramon Santiago, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.157|
|a-Don Kelly, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|a-struck out for Santiago in the 9th|
|CS - Andy Dirks (1, 2nd base by Santana/Perez)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Peralta-Santiago-Fielder|
|E - Alex Avila (3, Dropped fly)|
|Anibal Sanchez (L,7-7)||6||4||1||1||5||3||0||2.85|
|WP - Anibal Sanchez (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 101-59, Phil Coke 8-6, Bruce Rondon 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 9-5, Phil Coke 1-0, Bruce Rondon 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 26, Phil Coke 3, Bruce Rondon 4|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.282|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.274|
|Salvador Perez, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.281|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||0||1||.213|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.259|
|David Lough, RF||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.292|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||0||0||0||2||5||.244|
|Chris Getz, 2B||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.211|
|SH - David Lough (1)|
|RBI - Billy Butler (50)|
|SB - Alex Gordon (6, 2nd base off Sanchez/Avila), Chris Getz (5, 2nd base off Sanchez/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Ervin Santana (W,6-6)||7.1||2||0||0||1||6||0||3.18|
|Kelvin Herrera (H,9)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.08|
|Greg Holland (S,23)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.75|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 106-62, Kelvin Herrera 10-6, Greg Holland 19-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-10, Kelvin Herrera 1-0, Greg Holland 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 24, Kelvin Herrera 2, Greg Holland 3|
|Attendance - 35000|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 95|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Wally Bell|