June 19: Royals (39-33) 1, Tigers (37-32) 2
The Kansas City Royals got a first-inning run against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, but failed to muster up any other offense as the Tigers squeaked out a 2-1 win. Sanchez went seven strong frames and the Tigers scored both runs in the fourth.
The Royals jumped on Sanchez for a pair of doubles in the first inning, but that was all the damage they could do against the Detroit starter in the game. Billy Butler’s two-bagger brought home lead-off man Nori Aoki to give the Royals a 1-0 lead after one.
K.C. starter Danny Duffy was doing his part for the Royals as he didn’t even surrender a hit until the fourth frame. Unfortunate for him though, the Tigers hit him hard in that inning. Miguel Cabrera knotted the game just two batters into the frame with an RBI double to center field. Two batters later J.D. Martinez contributed a solo home run to right to give the Tigers their 2-1 lead.
In the fifth the Royals threatened against Sanchez with a pair of singles with one out, but failed to score across the equalizer.
The score stayed the same the rest of the way. Sanchez completed his dominant seven innings and passed the ball over to reliever Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain got three outs in the eighth and paved way for closer Joe Nathan in the ninth.
The veteran Nathan did his job. He struck out the side by setting down Butler, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain all on strikes to end the game and secure the 2-1 win. The save marked Nathan’s 14th of the year.
Sanchez got his fourth win of the season by going seven frames, walking one and allowing just the one run. He unexplainably didn’t strike out a single batter and gave up five hits.
On the other side, Duffy had the misfortune in the game as he went seven innings as well, giving up just three hits, one walk and two runs in the loss. He fanned five and lowered his ERA to 2.80.