Detroit at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: R. Porcello (4-1) L: J. Shields (3-3)
HR: DET - A. Avila (1)   KC - B. Butler (1)

Tigers' Porcello pitches 7 strong innings to down Royals wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rick Porcello is already in his sixth full season in the big leagues, which makes it all the easier to forget that the Tigers right-hander is still just 25 years old.

"I do think he's still learning himself a little bit," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said after an 8-2 win over the Kansas City Royals, a game that Porcello dominated for seven innings.

"Rick has really matured dramatically over his time here," Ausmus said. "You have to remember the guy is pretty young. You think he's older because he's been in the starting rotation."

Porcello (4-1) gave up a sacrifice fly to Eric Hosmer, a solo homer to Billy Butler and little else Friday night. He wound up allowing four hits while striking out six without a walk.

"Throwing first-pitch strikes I think was the biggest key tonight," he said. "Being ahead 0-1 instead of 1-0 is huge. You can go a lot of different ways when you do that."

Victor Martinez had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, and J.D. Martinez and Alex Avila also drove in two runs apiece as the Tigers won their fourth straight against the Royals.

Meanwhile, Shields (3-3) allowed eight runs -- seven of them earned -- on 12 hits, a walk and a hit batter in 6 1/3 innings. It was the worst outing for the Royals ace since last September, when Shields allowed 10 runs in another lousy start against the Tigers.

"I threw some good pitches. That's a good hitting ball club over there," he said. "I wasn't locating my pitches. I was getting behind in the count. I didn't do my job out there, bottom line. I've got to do a better job of getting outs. It's just one of those games."

As if that wasn't bad enough, the Royals also lost All-Star catcher Salvador Perez when he fouled a pitch off his shin in the seventh inning. He was listed as day to day with a bruise.

Shields first got into trouble in the second, when he loaded the bases but escaped the jam unscathed. But things only got worse in the third, when a single by Torii Hunter and back-to-back doubles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez gave Detroit a 2-1 lead.

They never gave it back the rest of the game.

J.D. Martinez kept the onslaught going when he led off the fourth with a double, and Avila followed by hitting the first pitch of his at-bat for his first homer of the season. Detroit added another run later in the inning when Andrew Romine reached third on an error by the Royals' Mike Moustakas, and then scored on a double-play groundout.

Butler provided the only bright spot the rest of the way for Kansas City, guiding a line drive over the fence in left field for his first homer of the season -- and the first by any hitter batting in the cleanup spot in the Royals lineup.

"I knew I hit it good. I didn't know if it was high enough to get out," Butler said. "I knew I hit it hard, but didn't hit it very high. I couldn't see if it was fair or foul. I knew it was really close, too."

Shields was finally pulled in the seventh, allowing another run and leaving the bases loaded while recording one out. Reliever Kelvin Herrera gave up a double to J.D. Martinez that brought in two more runs and gave the Tigers an 8-2 lead.

That was plenty of support for Porcello, who had been miserable in the month of April until this season, when he went 3-1 with a 3.96 ERA. He kept that momentum going against Kansas City, a team he oddly never faced last season, retiring his final 12 batters.

"He's been throwing the ball great all season long," Victor Martinez said. "He's showing he's young but he knows what he's doing out there. He's giving us a great chance to win ballgames."


The Tigers announced the signing of RHP Joel Hanrahan on Friday. The former All-Star underwent Tommy John surgery last May after nine appearances for the Red Sox. ... The Royals put LHP Bruce Chen (bulging disc) on the DL and recalled RHP Aaron Brooks from Triple-A Omaha. ... LHP Drew Smyly will start for Detroit on Saturday. LHP Danny Duffy is on the mound for Kansas City.

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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Detroit's J.D. Martinez congratulates Alex Avila at the plate after Avila's fourth-inning home run in a win over Kansas City. (USATSI)
Detroit's J.D. Martinez congratulates Alex Avila at the plate after Avila's fourth-inning home run in a win over Kansas City. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

O. Infante
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

V. Martinez
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4120000 .291
Torii Hunter, RF5220001 .306
Miguel Cabrera, 1B5111012 .273
Victor Martinez, DH5132000 .315
Austin Jackson, CF5010012 .300
Don Kelly, 3B5010014 .292
J.D. Martinez, LF4122011 .278
Alex Avila, C3112102 .226
Andrew Romine, SS4110013 .209
Rick Porcello, P0000000 .000
   Ian Krol, P0000000 .000
   Evan Reed, P0000000 .000
2B - Miguel Cabrera (8, Shields), Victor Martinez 2 (5, Shields), J.D. Martinez 2 (3, Shields)
HR - Alex Avila (1, Shields)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (16), Victor Martinez 2 (15), J.D. Martinez 2 (4), Alex Avila 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - J.D. Martinez 2 (2)
Team LOB - 7
Detroit Tigers
Rick Porcello (W,4-1) 7422061 3.66
Ian Krol 1000000 3.00
Evan Reed 1000000 3.48
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Porcello 106-71, Ian Krol 4-3, Evan Reed 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Porcello 6-9, Ian Krol 3-0, Evan Reed 2-1
Batters Faced - Rick Porcello 25, Ian Krol 3, Evan Reed 3
Kansas City Royals
Norichika Aoki, RF4000010 .274
Omar Infante, 2B4120000 .297
Eric Hosmer, 1B3001001 .291
Billy Butler, DH4111010 .236
Alex Gordon, LF3000010 .262
Salvador Perez, C3000000 .228
   Brett Hayes, C0000000 .000
Mike Moustakas, 3B3010020 .156
Alcides Escobar, SS3000011 .277
Jarrod Dyson, CF3000000 .293
James Shields, P0000000 .000
   Kelvin Herrera, P0000000 .000
   Michael Mariot, P0000000 .000
2B - Mike Moustakas (5, Porcello)
3B - Omar Infante (3, Porcello)
HR - Billy Butler (1, Porcello)
SF - Eric Hosmer (2)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (10), Billy Butler (11)
Team LOB - 2
DP - Escobar-Infante-Hosmer
E - Mike Moustakas (3, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
James Shields (L,3-3) 6.11287131 3.11
Kelvin Herrera 1.2200020 2.19
Michael Mariot 1000000 4.66
WP - James Shields (1)
HBP - Kinsler (by James Shields)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 105-68, Kelvin Herrera 21-18, Michael Mariot 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 2-13, Kelvin Herrera 1-2, Michael Mariot 2-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 32, Kelvin Herrera 7, Michael Mariot 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28021
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Gabe Morales, Third Base - Tim Timmons