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ROYAL THRASHING.....Kansas City 9, TIGERS 2, Th 9/17/09
Posted on: 09-17-2009

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422-FOOT 3rHR IN THE T-3RD<<


    For the second time in three days
the Royals battered Tiger pitching with
extra base power and Kansas City won
the rubber game of a 3-game Detroit
series 9-2 Thursday afternoon.
    By winning six of the last seven match-
ups, the last place Royals finished the
season series with Detroit in a 9-9 tie.
    The slumping AL-Central leading
Tigers have lost seven of their last 10
games with the Detroit pitching staff
allowing 10 or more basehits in nine of
those 10 games.
    The good news is:   Second place Minnesota was idle Thursday, so the Twins
only gained a half game on Detroit.
    The bad news is:   The Tigers open a 9-game road trip with a 3-game weekend
series at Minnesota. The Twins now trail the Tigers by four full games in the
standings. Detroit has won only one of six games at the MetroDome this season
and that "W" took 16-INN to accomplish.
    Thursday, Tiger starter Edwin Jackson needed 25-pitches to get out of the T-1st
and KayCee had a 2-0 lead by that time. Alberto Callaspo's 2-out, 2-run line drive
double to the LCField gap plated Willie Bloomquist and Billy Butler. The play never
should have happened. Butler was safe on a fielder's choice play where Detroit SStop
Ramon Santiago tried to force Bloomquist at 2Base, instead of throwing to first to
retire the much slower Butler. Had Santiago gotten Butler at 1Base, Callaspo would
never have batted in the opening inning.
    Miguel Olivo made it 5-0 for the Royals with a 1-out, 422-foot homerun (#21) to
straightaway CField. Again, the scoring play was avoidable. Tiger CFielder Curtis
Granderson was slow to react to the deep flyball and arrived at the wall too late to
position himself for a leaping catch on a ball that landed on the top of the fence and
rolled a bit along the edge before falling into the greenery.
    Jackson (L, 12-7) was done after 5-IP and 96-pitches/61-strikes, having allowed
5-R/5-ER on 6-H & 1-W with 6-K.
    Armando Galarraga took over and didn't last long. Galarraga struck-out the first
man he faced, but the next five all reached base including a 3rHR down thr RField
line by ex-Tiger Josh Anderson (#1).  
    Just off the DL (right/pitching wrist) on Wednesday, Alfredo Figaro took over
for Galarraga and issued a walk to load the bases, but escaped further T-6th damage.
KayCee loaded the sacks again in the T-8th to chase Figaro. Jeremy Bonderman
gave up a bloop RBI-1B to Callaspo, an inherited runner scoring, before getting the
last 2-outs of that frame.
    Detroit's only runs came via a 2rHR by Miguel Cabrera (#30) hit off first Royals
reliever Bruce Chen, a 414-foot blast to the LCField seats in the B-6th after the Royals
had already scored the game's first 8-R.
    The other damage Cabrera did was hit a ball off the upper right elbow of KC starter
Zack Greinke to lead-off the B-4th. Greinke stayed in the game just long enough to
qualify for the win (14-8), throwing five shutout innings on 77-pitches/46-strikes to
give up 3-H & 2-W with 8-K. Five of the first six outs recorded by Greinke were via
the strikeout and he had at least one whiff in each inning except the B-3rd. X-rays on
Greinke's elbow wre negative.
    Bloomquist was 4-for-5 while subbing for David DeJesus (sore left knee) in the
KC lead-off spot. Callaspo was 2-for-4 and Yuniesky Betancourt 2-for-5 at the plate
for the Royals.
    DH Aubrey Huff went 2-for-4 as the only Tiger with multiple safeties.
    KC       9-12-0, 11-LOB     (W) Greinke, 14-8
    DET     2-7-0, 8-LOB         (L) Jackson, 12-7


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "We got the wind taken out of our sails a little bit.
When you get down four or five runs to a guy like Greinke, it does change some
things...It seems like [Jackson has] pitched quite a few games without all his
ammunition. He hasn't had his breaking stuff on any consistent basis for quite a
while...He doesn't have a good feel for it right now, for whatever reason, so he
probably doesn't have the confidence. But for the first half, the slider was devastating.
It hasn't been there on a consistent basis the second half for whatever reason...You
either play good enough or you don't. There's no sense sitting around talking about it."

TIGERS SP EDWIN JACKSON:   "We're still in first place. No time to talk about what
we coulda done or what we shoulda done...It's a great group of guys. Everybody's
confidence is the same. Nobody's confidence has deteriorated from these few games.
We've still got a lot of baseball left."

TIGERS CA ALEX AVILA:   ""Some of those hits they got were E.J. missing on some good
pitches. Some bloops here, and a walk, and then they were able to get a big hit. It was
a frustrating day."  

TIGERS 3B BRANDON INGE:   "You've got to remember, this is the game of baseball.
It's not life and death. We're trying to win a championship here, but you can't be
uptight...You just have to play as hard as you can and have fun."

ROYALS SP ZACK GREINKE:   "I don't remember even moving out there, but when I saw
[Cabrera's line drive], I thought, 'Man, I was sort of close to catching it.' But still not
even close, I didn't even get a glove on it...I wasn't scared. The only thing that scares
me is getting hit in the face...I was hoping to go longer, because the last thing I want
to do is go five [innings] and be done. But [the elbow] got worse the next inning,
so it just wasn't smart with the lead we had, and I wasn't pitching that good anyway."

ROYALS CF JOSH ANDERSON:   "I don't get many home runs, but when I get one, it's
special, and I remember all of them. Today it came at a good time, because it was a
three-run shot and kind of opened up the game a little bit."


    Thursday night the third place Chicago White Sox lost to stay six and a half games
behind the division leading Tigers.
    The 78-&-68 Tigers have 679 runs this season while scoring 662.
No other MLB team with a .500 or better won-lost record has a negative run margin.
    Jackson's loss was his first in four September starts (2-1, 1-ND).
    Carlos Guillen batted RHanded in the B-6th for the first time since May when he
went on the DL for two and a half months due to a right shoulder injury. Guillen fouled-
out to 1Base as part of an 0-for-4 afternoon. Guillen indicated his shoulder pain is
gone and he may resume switch-hitting full-time.
    Greinke's five starts vs Detroit this season produced a 3-1 record with 1-ND
and 5-R/4-ER allowed in 36-IP for a 1.00-ERA. Greinke is 11-5 in his MLB career
against the Tigers.
    The 2-R/T-1st gave Greinke his only opening inning lead all season.
    Anderson's first homerun of the year was just the fourth of his three season
big league career. Anderson's last homerun came playing with Atlanta last year when
he had a two homer game for the Braves on SEPT 27TH.
    Chen left the contest with a strained left oblique muscle in the B-7th.       
    The matinee crowd of 26,457 was the largest of the series.
    Detroit's last ever visit to the MetroDome starts Friday night. Rick Porcello
(13-8), Justin Verlander (16-8) and Nate Robertson (1-2) are the Tiger probable
pitchers for the Minnesota showdown series. The Twins are scheduled to counter
with Brian Duensing (3-1), Carl Pavano (12-11) and Scott Baker (13-8).




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