June 18: Royals (39-32) 2, Tigers (36-32) 1
The Kansas City Royals scored single runs in the first and the fifth to help starter Jeremy Guthrie topple the home-team Detroit Tigers 2-1. Guthrie was impressive in his 6.2 innings, striking out nine batters and giving up just four hits.
The Royals didn’t take long to get on the board against Detroit starter Drew Smyly as they registered their first run of the game just four batters into the game. Eric Hosmer singled and moved to second via a stolen base with two away. He was then brought home on an RBI single by Alex Gordon to second base.
Smyly settled down a bit from there as he didn’t allow a base-runner until the fourth inning. In that frame, the Royals were able to get runners on the corners but were unable to plate home another run.
It wasn’t until the next frame that the Royals were finally able to extend their lead to two. Omar Infante homered against his former team with a fly ball to left field. Infante started the at-bat with a foul bunt attempt, but ended it by clobbering a 79-mph slider over the fence in left.
The game stayed pretty quiet from there until the bottom of the seventh. In that frame, the Tigers finally got on the board via a solo home run off the bat of J.D. Martinez. Martinez belted an 0-1 sinker from Guthrie over the left-field wall to bring Detroit within one.
Kansas City relief pitching did its part from there as three pitchers combined to complete the final 2.1 innings of scoreless ball. Closer Greg Holland gave up a lead-off single to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth, but retired the next three batters in order to secure his 21st save of the season and the 2-1 win.
Guthrie earned his fourth win of the year with his 6.2 frames of work. He struck out nine batters and allowed just one run. Meanwhile, Smyly fell to 3-6 on the season after his seven innings of work. He gave up two runs and struck out six.