Betemit, Royals beat sloppy Tigers 9-5
Monday, April 11, 2011
DETROIT (AP) — Wilson Betemit went 4 for 4 with two doubles, and the Kansas City Royals beat the mistake-prone Detroit Tigers 9-5 on Sunday.
Luke Hochevar pitched seven solid innings for Kansas City, and every Royals starter had a hit. Miguel Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila all homered for Detroit, but the Tigers made four errors.
Hochevar (1-1) gave up the three homers, but Detroit managed only two other hits off him. He easily outdueled Rick Porcello (0-2) in a matchup of former first-round draft picks. Three relievers finished for the Royals, with Joakim Soria getting the final two outs for his third save.
It was the first four-hit game for Betemit since July 14, 2007. He also drew a walk.
Hochevar was the Royals’ opening-day starter after the team traded ace Zack Greinke. He was sharp against the Tigers, striking out six without a walk.
Porcello, on the other hand, was in trouble from the start. He made a wild pickoff throw in the first inning, putting a man on third with one out. He managed to pitch out of that jam, but Kansas City broke through in the third.
After a walk to Chris Getz, Melky Cabrera slapped a double down left-field line. Ryan Raburn’s throw to second sailed high for an error, allowing Getz to score and Cabrera to take third. Alex Gordon drove in Cabrera with a groundout.
Peralta homered in the bottom half, but Kansas City answered with a run in the fourth. The Royals then scored two in the fifth, again with help from the sloppy Tigers. After a run-scoring triple by Jeff Francoeur and a walk by Betemit, Matt Treanor hit a potential double-play ball to third base that could have ended the inning. Instead, Brandon Inge threw wide of second for another error, and a run came home.
Porcello allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked three.
Avila hit a solo homer in the sixth. Umpires reviewed the play because a fan reached over a railing to catch the ball in right field, but it appeared the ball was above the wall.
Betemit drove in a run in the seventh with a double when right fielder Brennan Boesch was unable to make the catch while jumping near the wall. Alcides Escobar made it 7-2 later in the inning with an RBI single.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the bottom half, but another wild pickoff throw — this one by Detroit reliever Daniel Schlereth — helped Kansas City score a run in the eighth.
Betemit led off the ninth with his second double, and Getz’s sacrifice fly made it 9-4.
NOTES: Detroit DH Victor Martinez lobbed a few batting practice pitches to his son before the game. Victor Jose, 6, showed good edge-of-the-infield power while hitting from both sides of the plate. His father is also a switch hitter. ... The temperature at game time was 64 degrees, about 20 degrees warmer than for Detroit’s first two home games. ... Kansas City’s Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to eight games — and 22 straight against the Tigers.