Royals

Tigers’ eighth inning dooms Royals in road loss

The Tigers’ Mikie Mahtook was greeted by the bat boy after Mahtook hit a two-run home run off the Royals’ Jason Hammel in the eighth inning on Saturday night in Detroit.
The Tigers’ Mikie Mahtook was greeted by the bat boy after Mahtook hit a two-run home run off the Royals’ Jason Hammel in the eighth inning on Saturday night in Detroit. AP

Mikie Mahtook hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Saturday night in Victor Martinez’s final major-league game.

With the score tied at 3-3, Niko Goodrum led off the eighth with his third hit of the game, a single off Royals reliever Jason Hammel (3-14). Mahtook then lined Hammel’s 1-0 slider over the left-field fence for his ninth homer.

“Hammel was our most rested arm, and I liked the matchup,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s just been hanging his slider and guys aren’t missing it.”

The 39-year-old Martinez, who made his debut with Cleveland in 2002, hit an infield single in his first at-bat and was immediately removed for pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez. Fellow Venezuelans Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar came out of the Royals’ dugout to embrace the five-time All-Star as he walked off the field to a standing ovation.

“I wanted to say goodbye,” Perez said. “He’s taught me a lot of good things, both inside and outside of baseball – how to care for my family and all that. He makes me want to work harder and play until I’m 39.”

Martinez, one of baseball’s slowest runners, said he even considered bunting against the Royals’ shift.

“A single is a single, right? It doesn’t matter how you get it,” he said. “It helps the team win.”

Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Joe Jimenez (5-4) allowed the Royals to tie it in the eighth but earned the win.

Shane Greene allowed a solo homer to Perez before finishing the ninth for his 31st save in 37 opportunities.

Royals starter Jake Junis entered the game with a 4-0 record and 1.76 ERA against the Tigers this season. He gave up three runs on eight hits, a walk and three wild pitches in six innings on Saturday.

The Royals’ Whit Merrifield drove the game’s first pitch to right-center. JaCoby Jones made a diving try, but the ball popped out of his glove when he hit the ground, giving Merrifield a triple. Adalberto Mondesi followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Goodrum’s RBI single, and he added an RBI double in the third.

Alex Gordon tied it at 2-2 with a fourth-inning homer. Two wild pitches by Junis allowed Jones to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning.

The Royals’ Brett Phillips singled off Jimenez with one out in the eighth and scored the tying run on Merrifield’s double down the left-field line.

Up next: The teams finish their four-game series Sunday afternoon in Detroit’s final home game of the season. Brad Keller (8-6, 3.17 ERA) will start for the Royals against Daniel Norris (0-5, 5.71).

Tigers 5, Royals 4

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Merrifield 2b

2

1

2

1

2

0

.304

Mondesi ss

3

0

0

1

0

2

.285

Gordon lf

4

1

1

1

0

1

.246

Perez dh

4

1

1

1

0

1

.233

O’Hearn 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.264

Dozier 3b

4

0

0

0

0

1

.230

Goodwin cf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.237

Phillips rf

3

1

2

0

0

0

.200

Viloria c

3

0

0

0

0

1

.167



Detroit

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Candelario 3b

5

0

0

0

0

1

.226

Stewart lf

4

1

1

0

0

2

.234

Castellanos dh

4

1

3

0

0

0

.303

Martinez 1b

1

0

1

0

0

0

.251

Rodriguez pr-2b

2

0

1

0

0

0

.227

Goodrum 2b-1b

4

1

3

2

0

0

.241

Mahtook rf

4

1

1

2

0

0

.217

McCann c

4

0

0

0

0

2

.214

Jones cf

4

1

1

0

0

1

.213

Kozma ss

3

0

1

0

1

2

.203



Kansas City

100

100

011

4

6

0

Detroit

101

100

02x

5

12

0

LOB—Kansas City 2, Detroit 8. 2B—Merrifield (42), Castellanos (45), Goodrum (29). 3B—Merrifield (2), Kozma (1). HR—Gordon (12), off Zimmermann; Perez (27), off Greene; Mahtook (9), off Hammel. RBIs—Merrifield (58), Mondesi (32), Gordon (51), Perez (77), Goodrum 2 (47), Mahtook 2 (29). CS—Merrifield (10). SF—Mondesi. S—Rodriguez.

Runners left in scoring position—Kansas City 1 (Mondesi); Detroit 7 (Candelario, Stewart, Mahtook 4, Rodriguez). RISP—Kansas City 0 for 1; Detroit 3 for 11.

Runners moved up—Goodrum. GIDP—Viloria.

DP—Detroit 1 (Rodriguez, Kozma, Goodrum).

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Junis

6

8

3

3

1

5

108

4.42

Newberry

1

1

0

0

0

2

22

2.25

Hammel, L, 3-14

1

3

2

2

0

1

20

6.07

Detroit

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Zimmermann

7

3

2

2

2

5

93

4.31

Jimenez, W, 5-4, BS, 4-7

1

2

1

1

0

1

23

4.21

Greene, S, 31-37

1

1

1

1

0

1

10

5.20

WP—Junis 3.

Umpires—Home, Nic Lentz; First, Tripp Gibson; Second, Adrian Johnson; Third, Brian Gorman.

T—2:42. A—24,815 (41,297).

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