EditorsNote: Deletes second reference to first names on Merrifield and Dixon; other minor edits
Mike Montgomery pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters, and the visiting Kansas City Royals silenced the Detroit Tigers 7-0 on Saturday.
Montgomery (2-5) retired the first 12 batters he faced and surpassed his previous career high of 10 strikeouts, set in 2015. He joined the Royals last month after the Chicago Cubs traded him for catcher Martin Maldonado. He allowed just four hits and did not issue a walk.
Jorge Soler led the offense with his 33rd homer, a two-run shot. He also scored another run. Whit Merrifield supplied two hits, two runs and two RBIs, and Hunter Dozier added an RBI triple.
Detroit’s rookie starter Spencer Turnbull (3-10) gave up two runs on three hits in six innings. The Tigers, who won the first two games of the four-game series, were shut out for the 11th time this season. Brandon Dixon had two hits.
Montgomery got off to a stellar beginning by striking out the side in the first inning.
Neither team had a baserunner until Merrifield led off the fourth with a single. With two down and Merrifield on second, Soler blasted his 444-foot homer to center to give the Royals a 2-0 advantage.
Montgomery once again struck out the side in the fourth. Dixon broke the Tigers’ drought when he led off the fifth with a single, but he was quickly erased on a strikeout-caught-stealing double play.
The Royals tacked on two unearned runs in the seventh to make it 4-0. Soler reached on an error by shortstop Jordy Mercer to lead off the inning, then stole second after reliever Gregory Soto got the next two outs.
After Bubba Starling walked, both runners scored on a throwing error by Soto on a Meibrys Viloria comebacker. Right fielder Travis Demeritte made a nice running catch against Humberto Arteaga to end the inning and prevent further damage.
Kansas City scored another run in the eighth when Merrifield walked then scored on Dozier’s triple to center.
The Royals made it 7-0 in the ninth. Starling and Arteaga walked, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Merrifield’s bloop double to right-center.
—Field Level Media