Jun 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) warms up before the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Anibal Sanchez Halts Royals Winning Streak at Ten

Detroit Tiger starter Anibal Sanchez cooled off this hottest lineup in baseball by beating the Kansas City Royals 2-1 at Comerica Park in Detroit Thursday afternoon.

The Royals scored their only run in the first inning on doubles by Nori Aoki and Billy Butler. Sanchez, and the rest of the TIgers pitching staff, held down Kansas City the rest of the day with help from some nice defensive plays.

Danny Duffy was almost as good, but gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th on 3 hits. Series nemesis J.D. Martinez hit a home run to the right field corner that carried over the wall to make the difference in the game.

The loss drops Kansas City to 39-33. However, the Royals still hold a .5 game lead on Detroit in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Danny Duffy didn’t deserve to lose. He went 7.0 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs, and 5 strikeouts. The hard-luck Duffy’s record fell to 4-6 on the year with a still-excellent 2.80 ERA. Duffy is now a fixture in the Royals rotation.

Aaron Crow pitched a scoreless 8th inning for Kansas City despite giving up a bunt single to reserve catcher Bryan Holaday, who advanced to second on Mike Moustakas‘ throwing error. After Eugenio Suarez advanced Holaday to 3rd with a sacrifice, Crow stranded him by getting a pop-up from Rajai Davis and a fly ball to center from Ian Kinsler.

At the Plate

The Royals only managed 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run against Sanchez and Co. all night. Nori Aoki and Billy Butler were the only two Royals to get more than one hit, both going 2-4 with a single and a double on the day..

Aoki scored the Royals only run, while Billy Butler notched the RBI.

The Royals had some tough luck in the 5th. Lorenzo Cain lined out to leaping 3rd baseman Nick Castellanos to lead off the inning, followed by consecutive singles from Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar that would have scored a run.

This and That

The Royals have never scored more than 1 earned run against Anibal Sanchez, including their loss to him on Thursday.

Alcides Escobar saved a run in the 4th inning by catching Miguel Cabrera straying from the bag on Victor Martinez‘ deep fly ball to right. J.D. Martinez followed with his game-winning home run.

The Royals were not the only team that pulled off outstanding defensive plays. The Tigers supported Anibal Sanchez with 1 double play, Castellanos’ catch against Moustakas’ liner in the 4th, and Castellanos also leaned into over the railing in foul territory to retire Salvador Perez with Billy Butler at 2nd with 2 outs in the 6th.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Danny Duffy gets KC Kingdom’s POG award for his 7 strong innings in what turned out to be a losing effort.

The Tigers

J.D. Martinez does it again. Martinez only went 1-3 on Thursday, but struck the decisive blow with what turned out to be the game-winning home run (6).

Martinez went 7-14 vs. Kansas City during the series, including 3 home runs and 6 RBI’s. Martinez would have had home run in all four games if Lorenzo Cain did not reach over the wall to rob him on Tuesday. The Royals might have pulled off the four game sweep if Torii Hunter had not injured himself in the opening game.

Up Next

The Royals return home to start a 9-game home stand. First up is a 3-game set vs. the Seattle Mariners. The Royals will send James Shields (8-3, 3.50 ERA) to the mound against Hisashi Iwakuma (5-3, 2.59 ERA). Game time is 7:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

 Box

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 1 2 0 0 0 4 .264 .328 .326 .653
Omar Infante 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .250 .296 .363 .659
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .256 .296 .367 .663
Billy Butler DH 4 0 2 1 0 1 4 .274 .328 .359 .687
Salvador Perez C 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .276 .328 .428 .756
Lorenzo Cain CF 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .315 .351 .416 .767
Mike Moustakas 3B 2 0 1 0 1 0 3 .175 .246 .355 .601
Alcides Escobar SS 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 .292 .331 .401 .732
Team Totals 32 1 6 1 1 3 33 .188 .212 .281 .493

2B: N Aoki (12, off A Sanchez); B Butler 2 (16, 2 off A Sanchez).
TB: B Butler 4; N Aoki 3; M Moustakas; A Escobar.
GIDP: E Hosmer (9).
RBI: B Butler (32).
2-out RBI: B Butler.
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 1 for 7.
Fielding
DP: 1. N Aoki-A Escobar.
E: M Moustakas (6).
Outfield Assists: N Aoki (M Cabrera at 2nd base).

Tigers Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Ian Kinsler 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .287 .319 .446 .766
Austin Jackson CF 3 1 1 0 0 1 3 .253 .317 .378 .695
Miguel Cabrera 1B 2 0 1 1 1 0 3 .319 .375 .548 .923
Victor Martinez DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .328 .381 .588 .969
J.D. Martinez RF 3 1 1 1 0 1 3 .300 .333 .570 .903
Nick Castellanos 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .266 .301 .401 .702
Bryan Holaday C 3 0 1 0 0 2 3 .306 .333 .355 .688
Eugenio Suarez SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .286 .375 .629 1.004
Rajai Davis LF 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 .274 .319 .391 .710
Team Totals 26 2 4 2 1 5 28 .154 .185 .308 .493

2B: M Cabrera (24, off D Duffy).
HR: J Martinez (6, off D Duffy, 4th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep RF Line).
SH: E Suarez (3, off A Crow).
TB: J Martinez 4; M Cabrera 2; B Holaday; A Jackson.
RBI: J Martinez (22); M Cabrera (57).
2-out RBI: J Martinez.
Team LOB: 2.
With RISP: 0 for 3.
Fielding
DP: 1. I Kinsler-E Suarez-M Cabrera.

Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Danny Duffy, L (4-6) 7 3 2 2 1 5 1 2.80 101 69
Aaron Crow 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.78 8 7
Team Totals 8 4 2 2 1 5 1 2.25 109 76
Tigers Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Anibal Sanchez, W (4-2) 7 5 1 1 1 0 0 2.33 107 68
Joba Chamberlain, H (13) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.87 9 7
Joe Nathan, S (14) 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 6.31 15 11
Team Totals 9 6 1 1 1 3 0 1.00 131 86

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

Tags: Anibal Sanchez Billy Butler Danny Duffy Featured J.D. Martinez Kansas City Royals Popular