Kansas City at Detroit

Kansas City
W: E. Santana (9-9) L: D. Fister (12-9) S: G. Holland (43)
HR: KC - None   DET - None

Royals improve playoff chances with win over Detroit

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez kept his eye on the ball. He tried, too, anyway, and wound up making a game-saving play.

Perez tagged out Prince Fielder at the plate, preserving the Royals' 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

"We had to win this ballgame and the manner in which we did it was just exciting," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Ervin Santana (9-9) and the Royals moved up on the two teams ahead them in the race for the second AL wild-card spot, with the Yankees and Orioles both losing. Tampa Bay currently holds that final playoff position.

Greg Holland closed for his 43rd save, helped by an outstanding defensive play that shut down the AL Central leaders.

Fielder walked to open the ninth, and the Tigers' burly first baseman tried to score from first on Omar Infante's two-out double.

Gold Glover Alex Gordon made a strong throw from the left-field corner to Alcides Escobar, and the shortstop then made the relay throw to Perez.

Escobar's throw came in to Perez behind Fielder and the ball was shielded from the catcher's sight for about two seconds.

"I didn't see the ball," Perez said. "I just put my glove down and got the short hop and tagged him."

Escobar couldn't believe Perez's play.

"Unbelievable!" Escobar said. "That game was one of the best games I've ever played in in my career."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland agreed with third base coach Tom Brookens' decision to send Fielder.

"Really, they executed that play to perfection," Leyland said. "The only thing was, when I saw the throw coming in, I thought he might get a bad hop, but he made a terrific

pick of that ball, and tag."

Eric Hosmer had an RBI triple in the first for the Royals. He was thrown out at the plate on a grounder.

Santana (9-9) won for the first time since Aug. 4, outpitching Doug Fister (12-9). He allowed five hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out five.

"Everything was working pretty good," Santana said. "I threw a lot of strikes and most of the time ahead in the count. That was the key."

Miguel Cabrera made a bid to put Detroit ahead with two outs and a runner on in the sixth, but Gordon caught his long drive to left-center at the fence.

Gordon lined a single on Fister's first pitch of the game, and he scored on Hosmer's one-out triple.

Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio was ejected by first base umpire James Hoye after being picked off first base by Fister for the final out of the third.

Chris Getz, who is from the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe, took over at second base for Kansas City.


Kansas City trainer Nick Kenney came out to check on Santana after he was hit by Andy Dirks' liner in the second. Santana recovered to throw Dirks out at first. Santana ultimately threw a couple of warmup pitches and continued. ... The Royals are 10-8 against the Tigers this season, clinching the season series with one game left. ... In Sunday's series finale, Detroit's Max Scherzer (19-3, 3.01) will go for his 20th win against Kansas City RHP Jeremy Guthrie (14-10, 4.11).

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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The Royals, desperate to make the playoffs, get a big boost from Ervin Santana, who goes 6 2/3 innings and strikes out five. (USATSI)
The Royals, desperate to make the playoffs, get a big boost from Ervin Santana, who goes 6 2/3 innings and strikes out five. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

E. Santana
IP 6.2
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 5

D. Fister
IP 7.2
H 8
ER 1
BB 4
K 6

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon, LF3110110 .271
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B1000111 .241
   Chris Getz, 2B1000103 .224
Eric Hosmer, 1B4021010 .305
Billy Butler, DH4000000 .291
Salvador Perez, C3010111 .288
Mike Moustakas, 3B4020002 .233
Lorenzo Cain, RF4000013 .258
Jarrod Dyson, CF4010000 .268
Alcides Escobar, SS4010020 .237
Ervin Santana, P0000000 .250
   Will Smith, P0000000 .000
   Luke Hochevar, P0000000 .000
   Greg Holland, P0000000 .000
3B - Eric Hosmer (3, Fister)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (76)
PK - Emilio Bonifacio (3, Fister)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Alex Gordon 1
DP - Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
Ervin Santana (W,9-9) 6.2500150 3.23
Will Smith (H,5) 0.1000000 2.73
Luke Hochevar (H,7) 1100010 1.67
Greg Holland (S,43) 1100110 1.33
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 83-60, Will Smith 4-3, Luke Hochevar 9-7, Greg Holland 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 8-6, Luke Hochevar 2-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 25, Will Smith 1, Luke Hochevar 4, Greg Holland 4
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4000021 .275
Torii Hunter, RF4010011 .297
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3010102 .348
Prince Fielder, 1B3000112 .277
Victor Martinez, DH4020002 .297
Andy Dirks, LF4010011 .258
Omar Infante, 2B4010012 .317
Alex Avila, C2000011 .218
   a-Nick Castellanos, PH1000002 .250
   Bryan Holaday, C0000000 .296
Jose Iglesias, SS2010000 .315
   b-Don Kelly, PH1000000 .232
   Ramon Santiago, SS0000000 .224
Doug Fister, P0000000 .400
   Jose Alvarez, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Avila in the 7th
b-grounded out for Iglesias in the 8th
2B - Torii Hunter (33, Hochevar), Omar Infante (23, Holland)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Torii Hunter 1
DP - Iglesias-Infante-Fielder, Iglesias-Infante-Fielder-Hunter-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Doug Fister (L,12-9) 7.2811460 3.67
Jose Alvarez 0.1000000 5.51
Al Alburquerque 1000010 5.31
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 106-65, Jose Alvarez 2-2, Al Alburquerque 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 7-7, Al Alburquerque 1-1
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 32, Jose Alvarez 1, Al Alburquerque 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41841
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Bob Davidson