Turnbull solid, and Tigers beat Royals 5-4 in home opener

DETROIT (AP) With only four previous starts in the major leagues, Spencer Turnbull was easily the least experienced member of Detroit's starting rotation.

That made him an interesting choice to start the home opener - but the 26-year-old right-hander was up to the challenge.

''It was a dream come true,'' Turnbull said. ''It's the coolest feeling in my life so far. Cool - emphasis on the cool. It was very cold.''

Turnbull struck out 10 in six chilly innings, and the Tigers drew four straight walks to start the bottom of the seventh, taking the lead for good in their 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Josh Harrison stole two bases and scored three times for Detroit.

The temperature at gametime was 39 degrees.

It was tied at 3 in the seventh when Kansas City reliever Kyle Zimmer (0-1) walked Harrison, Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera in succession. Kevin McCarthy then came on and walked Niko Goodrum on four pitches, forcing in a run.

''There's no excuse for that,'' Zimmer said. ''Yes, it was cold, but not any colder than it was for any other pitcher. I just didn't do my job. I just cost our team a game. This one is completely on me.''

Christin Stewart added a sacrifice fly that inning to make it 5-3. Blaine Hardy (1-0) allowed a solo homer to Alex Gordon in the eighth, his second inning of work. Shane Greene pitched the ninth for his fifth save in five chances.

Whit Merrifield singled, tripled and scored twice for the Royals, extending his hitting streak to 26 games dating to last season. He came up with two outs in the ninth and Billy Hamilton on first, but the speedy Hamilton never stole second, and Merrifield grounded out.

Turnbull, impressive enough in spring training to earn a spot in the rotation, allowed two earned runs. He yielded six hits and two walks but prevented Kansas City from any big innings.

The Royals have lost four straight after winning their first two games this season. Detroit's five runs were a season high. The Tigers had scored only 12 runs through their first seven games.

Detroit's outfield wasn't sharp defensively, and that helped Kansas City score two runs. An error by Castellanos in right field allowed Gordon to score from first on Jorge Soler's double in the first. In the fifth, Goodrum was unable to cut off a ball hit to center, and Merrifield ended up with a leadoff triple. He came home on Gordon's sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead.

Goodrum answered with his bat, however, hitting a flare past first base for an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.

Cabrera hit an RBI single in Detroit's two-run first.

Royals starter Jakob Junis allowed three runs in six innings.

''I knew Jake was going to settle down, but I was afraid the first inning was going to get away from him before he got there,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ''Luckily, he did a nice job of limiting the damage.''

FESTIVITIES

Mary Wilson of the Supremes sang the national anthem before the game, and former Detroit reliever Guillermo Hernandez was on hand for the ceremonial first pitch.

Then the Tigers went out and improved to 5-3 - a nice start for a team coming off back-to-back 98-loss seasons.

''The fans here are pretty knowledgeable baseball people, and they understand what we're going through, but it's like everybody else. Fans have a lot of hopes and big dreams of us coming out and winning and getting right back into the playoffs,'' Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''That's the same dreams we have inside of the clubhouse. We don't want to hear anybody tell us how bad we are.''

SLOPPY

The Royals hadn't made an error all season before a pair of miscues Thursday. Catcher Martin Maldonado had a throwing error in the fifth, and Merrifield, the second baseman, followed suit in the sixth.

Tampa Bay is the last remaining team without an error.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: Detroit is without OF JaCoby Jones (left shoulder), and his absence appeared to hurt the Tigers defensively Thursday.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jorge Lopez (0-1) takes the mound Saturday. He allowed four runs in five-plus innings against the Chicago White Sox in his first start this season.

Tigers: LHP Matt Moore (0-0) makes his first home start for Detroit.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC2-4
101010010482
DET5-3
20001020X561
  • W: B. Hardy (1-0)L: K. Zimmer (0-1)S: S. Greene (5)
  • HR: KC - A. Gordon (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B52200011.269.321.385.7065.5
A. Mondesi SS40000032.346.346.7691.115-1.5
A. Gordon LF22221100.294.481.6471.12910.0
J. Soler RF40210020.304.360.478.8383.0
R. O'Hearn DH30100102.333.368.556.9242.0
L. Duda 1B40000025.125.125.125.250-1.0
C. Owings 3B40000031.091.167.182.348-1.5
M. Maldonado C40000001.261.261.304.5650.0
B. Hamilton CF40100010.182.217.182.3990.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Harrison 2B33100210.148.258.148.4069.5
    N. Castellanos RF22000221.241.371.345.7163.0
    M. Cabrera 1B20110200.148.303.148.4514.0
    N. Goodrum CF30230101.318.483.5911.0748.0
    J. Candelario 3B40000027.242.265.333.598-1.0
    C. Stewart DH30110010.080.194.240.4342.5
    D. Peterson LF40100024.167.167.250.4170.0
    G. Greiner C40000011.125.160.167.327-0.5
    J. Mercer SS40000011.125.222.167.389-0.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Soler (4)
      • 3B - W. Merrifield
      • HR - A. Gordon (2)
      • SF - A. Gordon (2)
      • RBI - A. Gordon 2 (7), J. Soler (6)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Merrifield, L. Duda 4 (4), M. Maldonado
      BATTING
      • 2B - N. Goodrum 2 (6), C. Stewart
      • SF - C. Stewart (2)
      • RBI - M. Cabrera, N. Goodrum 3 (3), C. Stewart (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - N. Goodrum
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Candelario 3 (3), D. Peterson 4 (4), J. Mercer
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - J. Harrison 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • E - M. Maldonado, W. Merrifield
      FIELDING
      • E - N. Castellanos
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Junis6.06333804.631.3713.0
      K. Zimmer (L, 0-1)0.002230018.004.00-10.0
      K. McCarthy1.00001006.002.332.0
      B. Boxberger1.000002010.801.804.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Junis6.0
      K. Zimmer (L, 0-1)0.0
      K. McCarthy1.0
      B. Boxberger1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      S. Turnbull6.063221004.091.2716.0
      B. Hardy (W, 1-0)2.01110115.790.8611.5
      S. Greene (S, 5)1.01000100.000.409.5
      PITCHERSIP
      S. Turnbull6.0
      B. Hardy (W, 1-0)2.0
      S. Greene (S, 5)1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 102-63, K. Zimmer 18-6, K. McCarthy 10-5, B. Boxberger 17-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 5-5
      • Batters Faced - J. Junis 27, K. Zimmer 3, K. McCarthy 4, B. Boxberger 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - S. Turnbull 91-65, B. Hardy 22-13, S. Greene 13-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - S. Turnbull 4-4, B. Hardy 2-3, S. Greene 1-1
      • Batters Faced - S. Turnbull 26, B. Hardy 7, S. Greene 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      KC2-4
      101010010482
      DET5-3
      20001020X561
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      W. Merrifield 2B52200011.269.321.385.7065.5
      A. Mondesi SS40000032.346.346.7691.115-1.5
      A. Gordon LF22221100.294.481.6471.12910.0
      J. Soler RF40210020.304.360.478.8383.0
      R. O'Hearn DH30100102.333.368.556.9242.0
      L. Duda 1B40000025.125.125.125.250-1.0
      C. Owings 3B40000031.091.167.182.348-1.5
      M. Maldonado C40000001.261.261.304.5650.0
      B. Hamilton CF40100010.182.217.182.3990.5
      Total34483121212-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        J. Harrison 2B33100210.148.258.148.4069.5
        N. Castellanos RF22000221.241.371.345.7163.0
        M. Cabrera 1B20110200.148.303.148.4514.0
        N. Goodrum CF30230101.318.483.5911.0748.0
        J. Candelario 3B40000027.242.265.333.598-1.0
        C. Stewart DH30110010.080.194.240.4342.5
        D. Peterson LF40100024.167.167.250.4170.0
        G. Greiner C40000011.125.160.167.327-0.5
        J. Mercer SS40000011.125.222.167.389-0.5
        Total29565071015-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Soler (4)
          • 3B - W. Merrifield
          • HR - A. Gordon (2)
          • SF - A. Gordon (2)
          • RBI - A. Gordon 2 (7), J. Soler (6)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Merrifield, L. Duda 4 (4), M. Maldonado
          BATTING
          • 2B - N. Goodrum 2 (6), C. Stewart
          • SF - C. Stewart (2)
          • RBI - M. Cabrera, N. Goodrum 3 (3), C. Stewart (4)
          • 2-Out RBI - N. Goodrum
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Candelario 3 (3), D. Peterson 4 (4), J. Mercer
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - J. Harrison 2 (2)
          FIELDING
          • E - M. Maldonado, W. Merrifield
          FIELDING
          • E - N. Castellanos
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Junis6.06333804.631.3713.0
          K. Zimmer (L, 0-1)0.002230018.004.00-10.0
          K. McCarthy1.00001006.002.332.0
          B. Boxberger1.000002010.801.804.0
          Total8.06557100---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Junis6.0
          K. Zimmer (L, 0-1)0.0
          K. McCarthy1.0
          B. Boxberger1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          S. Turnbull6.063221004.091.2716.0
          B. Hardy (W, 1-0)2.01110115.790.8611.5
          S. Greene (S, 5)1.01000100.000.409.5
          Total9.08432121---
          PITCHERSIP
          S. Turnbull6.0
          B. Hardy (W, 1-0)2.0
          S. Greene (S, 5)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 102-63, K. Zimmer 18-6, K. McCarthy 10-5, B. Boxberger 17-10
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 5-5
          • Batters Faced - J. Junis 27, K. Zimmer 3, K. McCarthy 4, B. Boxberger 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - S. Turnbull 91-65, B. Hardy 22-13, S. Greene 13-10
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - S. Turnbull 4-4, B. Hardy 2-3, S. Greene 1-1
          • Batters Faced - S. Turnbull 26, B. Hardy 7, S. Greene 4
          • 8TH INNING
            Gordon homered to right45
          • 7TH INNING
            Stewart hit sacrifice fly to left, Castellanos scored35
            Goodrum walked, Harrison scored, Castellanos to third, Cabrera to second34
          • 5TH INNING
            Goodrum doubled to deep right, Harrison scored, Cabrera to third33
            Gordon hit sacrifice fly to left, Merrifield scored32
          • 3RD INNING
            Soler singled to center, Merrifield scored, Gordon to second22
          • 1ST INNING
            Goodrum reached on fielder's choice to second, Castellanos scored, Cabrera out at second12
            Cabrera singled to deep right center, Harrison scored, Castellanos to third11
            Soler doubled to right, Gordon scored on right fielder Castellanos fielding error10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Shane Greene relieved Blaine Hardy
            • C. Owings: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Owings struck out swinging
            • M. Maldonado: Foul, Maldonado flied out to right
            • B. Hamilton: Foul, Foul, Hamilton singled to left
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • B. Hardy Pitching:
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gordon homered to right
            • J. Soler: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, O'Hearn popped out to third
            • L. Duda: Foul, Ball, Duda popped out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Brad Boxberger relieved Kevin McCarthy
            • G. Greiner: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Greiner struck out looking
            • J. Mercer: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Mercer popped out to second
            • J. Harrison: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Harrison struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Blaine Hardy relieved Spencer Turnbull
            • B. Hamilton: Ball, Hamilton grounded out to first
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Merrifield lined out to third
            • A. Mondesi: Ball, Mondesi grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Kyle Zimmer relieved Jake Junis
            • J. Harrison: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Harrison walked
            • N. Castellanos: Strike looking, Harrison stole second, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Castellanos walked
            • M. Cabrera: Pickoff attempt to second, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Cabrera walked, Harrison to third, Castellanos to second
            • Kevin McCarthy relieved Kyle Zimmer
            • N. Goodrum: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Goodrum walked, Harrison scored, Castellanos to third, Cabrera to second
            • J. Candelario: Candelario lined out to second
            • C. Stewart: Foul, Stewart hit sacrifice fly to left, Castellanos scored
            • D. Peterson: Ball, Foul, Peterson lined out to third
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • R. O'Hearn: O'Hearn singled to left center
            • L. Duda: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Duda struck out swinging
            • C. Owings: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Owings struck out swinging
            • M. Maldonado: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Maldonado grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, O'Hearn out at second
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Stewart popped out to shortstop
            • D. Peterson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Peterson singled to right
            • G. Greiner: Greiner reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Greiner to second, Peterson out at second on 2nd baseman Merrifield throwing error
            • J. Mercer: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Mercer struck out looking
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 2 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Merrifield tripled to deep center
            • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gordon hit sacrifice fly to left, Merrifield scored
            • J. Soler: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • J. Mercer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Mercer flied out to left
            • J. Harrison: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Harrison singled to left
            • N. Castellanos: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging, Harrison stole second, Harrison to third on catcher Maldonado throwing error
            • M. Cabrera: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Cabrera walked
            • N. Goodrum: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Goodrum doubled to deep right, Harrison scored, Cabrera to third
            • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Candelario struck out swinging
            • End of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 4TH INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • C. Owings: Foul, Owings grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Maldonado flied out to center
            • B. Hamilton: Strike looking, Hamilton grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Stewart struck out swinging
            • D. Peterson: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Peterson struck out swinging
            • G. Greiner: Ball, Greiner popped out to second
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Merrifield singled to center
            • A. Mondesi: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Gordon singled to right, Merrifield to third
            • J. Soler: Strike looking, Strike looking, Soler singled to center, Merrifield scored, Gordon to second
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Strike looking, O'Hearn popped out to shortstop
            • L. Duda: Ball, Duda fouled out to third
            • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • N. Castellanos: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
            • M. Cabrera: Ball, Ball, Cabrera grounded out to third
            • N. Goodrum: Goodrum doubled to deep right
            • J. Candelario: Ball, Strike looking, Candelario flied out to right
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • C. Owings: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Owings struck out looking
            • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Maldonado grounded out to third
            • B. Hamilton: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Hamilton struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • G. Greiner: Ball, Foul, Greiner grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Mercer: Ball, Mercer grounded out to third
            • J. Harrison: Strike looking, Harrison flied out to left
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • S. Turnbull Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Merrifield struck out looking
            • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gordon walked
            • J. Soler: Strike looking, Ball, Soler doubled to right, Gordon scored on right fielder Castellanos fielding error
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn walked
            • L. Duda: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Duda struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • J. Harrison: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Harrison walked
            • N. Castellanos: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Castellanos walked, Harrison to second
            • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Cabrera singled to deep right center, Harrison scored, Castellanos to third
            • N. Goodrum: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Goodrum reached on fielder's choice to second, Castellanos scored, Cabrera out at second
            • J. Candelario: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Candelario struck out swinging
            • C. Stewart: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Stewart doubled to right, Goodrum to third
            • D. Peterson: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Peterson struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)