Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - A bases-loaded groundout in the bottom of the
ninth by Alex Avila plated Don Kelly with the winning run, as the Detroit
Tigers completed a four-game sweep over the Kansas City Royals with a 5-4
victory at Comerica Park.
Kelvin Herrera entered the game with runners on first and second with one out,
then Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas bobbled a Jhonny Peralta grounder,
leaving the bases loaded. Avila followed with a sharp grounder to first, and
though KC first baseman Brayan Pena made a diving stop and tagged the bag,
pinch-runner Kelly scored easily.
It made a winner of Joaquin Benoit (5-3), who served up a game-tying homer to
Billy Butler in the top of the ninth.
Tim Collins (5-4) took the loss, charged with the deciding run while recording
just one out.
Detroit starter Doug Fister set a new American League record by striking out
nine consecutive batters, eclipsing the previous AL mark of eight last
accomplished by Blake Stein of the Royals in 2001. The record-setter came when
he fanned Butler looking for the second out of the seventh inning.
One batter earlier, he set a new Tigers record with eight after sending Alex
Gordon down on strikes, a mark first set by Denny McLain in 1965 and equaled
by John Hiller in 1970.
The 28-year-old right-hander also retired 16 in a row from plunking Jeff
Francoeur with two down in the second, until a double by Moustakas to
start the eighth. He departed after 7 2/3 innings, charged with five hits and
three runs -- two earned -- while tying a season high with 10 strikeouts.
Quintin Berry knocked in a pair of runs for the Tigers, who opened up a 1 1/2
game lead over Chicago in the AL Central. The White Sox host Tampa Bay later
Thursday. Prince Fielder added two hits and an RBI.
Francoeur, Johnny Giavotella and Tony Abreu drove in a run each for the
Royals, who committed five errors in defeat -- their fifth in a row.
Detroit picked up two runs in its first turn at the plate on a Fielder RBI
single and sacrifice fly from Delmon Young. Moustakas had a hand in the
proceedings, allowing Berry to reach second thanks to a fielding and throwing
error on his routine grounder.
In the second, Omar Infante singled and moved to second on Alcides Escobar's
wild throw to first, and after Austin Jackson walked, Berry tripled both home
to make it 4-0.
Kansas City finally awoke in the eighth. Back-to-back doubles by Moustakas and
Francoeur produced the visitors' first run. A Pena groundout moved Francoeur
to third and Giavotella's grounder scored him to bring the Royals within 4-2.
David Lough followed with a single and advanced on a passed ball. Fister was
replaced by Phil Coke following Abreu's pinch-single, which made it 4-3.
Infante's diving grab of a Gordon grounder saved more trouble and ended the
inning with a successful throw to first.
Butler then greeted Benoit with his 28th homer of the year.
Tom Seaver still holds the major league record of 10 straight Ks, for the New
York Mets against San Diego on April 22, 1970 ... Nolan Ryan, Ron Davis and
Roger Clemens also fanned eight batters in succession in the AL ... Detroit
completed its 2012 home slate with a 50-31 mark ... Attendance was 33,091,
pushing the Tigers over the 3-million mark for the third time in franchise
history (2007-08) ... Prior to the game, the Tigers announced that Max
Scherzer will miss his scheduled Friday start due to lingering fatigue in his
pitching shoulder ... Royals starter Luis Mendoza served up seven hits and
four runs -- two earned -- while fanning six and walking one over seven full
frames ... Fister also fanned 10 on July 18 against the Angels.
The Sports Network