Mike Mayers allowed one run on six hits in 4 2/3 innings in his first start for the Royals. He struck out a career-high eight and walked one.
“I would have liked a couple more outs,” Mayers said. "We won - that's all that matters. The bullpen pitched really well. The adrenaline in the big leagues is a little more taxing than the adrenaline in Triple-A.”
His manager was impressed with his outing.
“He threw so many strikes and was efficient,” Matt Quatraro said. “Several times he had a three-pitch strikeout. He had a good cutter. He located his fastball and he threw several good breaking balls. He mixed it to the point where they weren't exactly sure what he was going to throw and he located it.”
Jose Cuas (3-0) was the winner, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4) took the loss. He allowed four runs - two earned - on eight hits in five innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
“I made, probably, two mistakes and I paid for it,” Rodriguez said. "But the rest I just tip my hat to them because they made good swings on it.”
The Tigers threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs on two infield singles and a walk, but Mayers induced a groundball from Miguel Cabrera.
The Royals got to Rodriguez in the fourth. Edward Olivares reached on shortstop Javier Baez's error and scored on a double by Michael Massey. Massey then came in on a single by Garcia. Garcia scored the third run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Salvador Perez. Only one of the runs was earned.
“We had good at-bats off Rodriguez in the fourth,” Quatraro said. “To string a few hits together and put up some runs was nice. I really do believe we have a deep lineup. It's just a matter of consistently doing it night in and night out.”
Mayers labored in the fifth and left with the bases loaded and two outs. One of those runners scored on a single by Baez. Olivares singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Bobby Witt Jr. with Kansas City's fourth run. Witt reached on the first bunt base hit of his career.
Royals RHP Nick Wittgren was selected from Triple-A Omaha. Wittgren, who pitched for Royals' pitching coach Brian Sweeney with Cleveland from 2019-21, had a 1.25 ERA with five saves in 17 appearances with Omaha. In a corresponding move, RHP Max Castillo was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
The Tigers and Royals will complete the three-game series Wenesday. Detroit LHP Matthew Boyd (3-3, 6.21 ERA) will face RHP Zack Greinke (1-5, 4.82 ERA).
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