Fielder, Scherzer push Tigers past Royals
Originally published April 18, 2012 at 10:47 p.m., updated April 18, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Prince Fielder drove in two runs, Max Scherzer got his first win of the season and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Wednesday night.
The Royals have lost seven straight, including their first six games at Kauffman Stadium, the most consecutive home losses in franchise history to start a season. The Royals lost their first five at home in 1993.
Scherzer (1-1), who had given up 10 runs on 13 hits and three walks in 8 2/3 innings in his first two starts, held the Royals to three runs on seven hits and one walk in six-plus innings. Scherzer, an All-Big 12 selection while at Missouri, lowered his earned run average from 10.38 to 7.98.
The Tigers scored two runs in the seventh off relievers Kelvin Herrera and Jose Mijares (0-1).
Gerald Laird led off the inning with a single off Herrera, advanced to third on Miguel Cabrera’s two-out single and scored on Mijares’ wild pitch. Fielder singled home Cabrera with the go-ahead run.
Alcides Escobar’s home run over the left field fence in the third gave the Royals a 2-1 advantage, their first lead in 27 innings and the second one of the homestand.
Humberto Quintero hit an RBI double in the fourth inning for the other Kansas City run. Butler celebrated his 26th birthday by extending his hitting streak to eight games and is tied for the American League with seven multi-hit games.
Royals left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who was starting on three-days rest for only the fourth time in his career, pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth. Fielder reached on Sanchez’s error to start the inning. Delmon Young singled and Ryan Raburn walked to load the bases. Sanchez retired Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Inge on infield flies and Gerald Laird flied out to center.
Sanchez left after five innings and 97 pitches, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking three. Peralta singled in the second for the first Detroit run, and Fielder’s two-out fifth inning double to right-center scored the other run off Sanchez.
Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his third save in four chances. Valverde got Escobar to ground into a game-ending double play.
The dugouts and bullpens emptied briefly in the bottom of the seventh when Quintero was hit by Scherzer’s pitch to lead off the inning. Quintero had words with Tiger catcher Laird before going to first base, which led to the players streaming onto the field. Words were exchanged but no punches.
Notes: 2B Yuniesky Betancourt batted second, the sixth Royals player to hit in the No. 2 slot in the first 12 games. ... Tigers RHP Octavio Dotel is one appearance shy of appearing in his 700th game. He would become the 93rd pitcher in big league history to appear in at least 700 games. ... The Tigers are 38-19 at Kauffman Stadium since Jim Leyland took over as manager in 2006. ... The Royals have two blown saves in four opportunities. They are without closer RHP Joakim Soria, who is out for the season after having elbow surgery earlier this month.
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