Jun 17, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) makes a play on a ball hit by Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (not pictured) for a single in the fourth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Seize First Place with Win

The Kansas City Royals ran their winning streak to 9 games by smashing the Tigers 11-4 in Detroit on Tuesday night. They did it by battering defending Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer for 10 earned runs in 4 innings.

The victory was also Kansas City’s 6th straight against A.L. Central foes. The Royals have completed the trek from last to first in a little under a month—on May 20 the Royals stood 7 games behind the Tigers and had sunk to 5th place.

Kansas City is now 38-32 on the season. The Royals hold sole possession of 1st place in the American League Central by 1/2 game over the Tigers.

On the Mound

Yordano Ventura wasn’t dominant, but he was good enough to get the job done against Tiger ace Max Scherzer. Ventura went 7.0 innings, giving up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs with 4 strikeouts to earn his 5th victory of the season (5-5).

Newly recalled Louis Coleman pitched the 8th and surrendered a home run to Ian Kinsler to lead off the inning. Coleman finished off the Tigers without further damage.

Aaron Crow finished off the 9th with a clean inning and 1 strikeout.

At the Plate

Ohhh boy are the Royals having fun at the dish! The day after banging out a season-high 17 hits, the Royals followed up on Tuesday with 15 hits and 4 walks. The lineup put the game mostly out of reach with a 7-run second inning that featured 2-run home runs from both Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas.

Eight of the starting nine hit safely on the day, with Eric Hosmer‘s 0-5 as the only exception. Hosmer hit a screaming line drive with the bases loaded in the 5th, but was robbed by Tiger SS Eugenio Suarez.

Alex Gordon went 2-5 with a double, his 8th home run, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s on the day.

Mike Moustakas went 1-5 with his 7th home run, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Omar Infante went 1-3 on a bases-loaded single, 1 walk, and 3 RBI’s. Infante’s 3rd RBI came on a bases-loaded walk against Tiger reliever Phil Coke in the 5th.

Alcides Escobar rebounded from having his 12-game hitting streak snapped Monday night with a 3-5 game (all singles), and 3 runs scored.

Lorenzo Cain went 2-2 with 2 singles and 1 RBI after coming in for a cramping Nori Aoki after Aoki scored in the 2nd.

This and That

Even on a day when Alcides Escobar boots a grounder for an error, followed soon after by Mike Moustakas failing to field a ball at 3rd (that was scored a hit), the Royals still made plays on defense.

Lorenzo Cain leaped high over the right field wall in the 4th inning to rob J.D. Martinez of a 2-run home run. Eric Hosmer  then speared a liner to first to end the inning with a double play (1 of 4 on the day for Kansas City).

Catcher Salvador Perez fielded a wild pitch that bounced off the backstop to nail Eugenio Suarez at home plate to end a bases-loaded threat in the bottom of the 5th.

For the second straight game, the Royals battered the Tigers for 11 runs.

This is the first time that that Royals have been in 1st place this late in the season since leading the A.L. Central in August of 2003.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

While there are many deserving candidates, our nod goes to Lorenzo Cain for his perfect 2 for 2 day and robbing yet another home run from opposing hitters. Cain has been ridiculous on defense this season.

The Tigers

J.D. Martinez continues to be a one-man wrecking crew against Kansas City. After entering Monday’s game as an injury replacesment for Torii Hunter and hitting a grand slam, Martinez went 3-4, with 2 singles, a double, and 1 run scored. The only time the Royals recorded an out against Martinez was when Lorenzo Cain robbed him of a home run in the 4th.

Up Next

The Royals try to hang onto first place in the 3rd game of their 4-game series against Detroit. The Royals will send Jeremy Guthrie (3-6, 4.04 ERA) to the hill against Drew Smyly (3-5, 3.58 ERA) for the Tigers. Game time is 12:08 CST at Comerica Park in Detroit.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals Lorenzo Cain Yordano Ventura