Tigers defeat Royals to end nine-game slide
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nicholas Castellanos cleared the bases and the Detroit Tigers cleared out a losing streak.
Castellanos hit a three-run double in the fifth inning as the Tigers downed the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Thursday night.
“We just had collectively good at-bats against him, one after another and we continuously have (forced Danny Duffy) to make pressure pitches and, you know, we got him,” Castellanos said.
Castellanos needs one RBI to reach 100.
“It would mean a lot,” he said to reach that milestone. “I got a hundred RBIs in the big leagues. That’s pretty cool.”
The victory ended the Tigers’ season-worst nine-game losing streak. It also means they will not lose 100 games.
“No one wants to lose a hundred games,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Quite frankly, no one wants to lose 99 games. I’d rather it be 99 than a hundred. A hundred’s a much bigger number.”
Left-hander Daniel Norris (5-8) gave up two hits over five shutout innings to log his first victory since June 16. Norris exited with a sore groin. Duffy (9-10) absorbed the loss.
Paulo Orlando homered for the second consecutive night for Kansas City. Orlando hit a 2-1 Warwick Saupold pitch out to left to lead off the sixth inning.
Shane Greene worked a scoreless ninth to collect his eighth save, coaxing Melky Cabrera to ground into a game-ending double play.
After a scoreless first four innings, the Tigers sent eight men to the plate in a four-run fifth.
Andrew Romine drew a walk to lead off the inning. He moved to second on Alex Presley’s single and scored on JaCoby Jones’ ground ball single to left.
After Jose Iglesias’ infield popup, Dixon Machado walked to load the bases. Castellanos cleared them with a double off the left-field wall.
“I had enough left in the tank to obviously get pretty well through four,” Duffy said. “I just didn’t locate in the fifth.”
That finished the night for Duffy, who gave up four runs, six hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 51 strikes in 86 pitches. Duffy finishes the season with a 3.81 ERA.
“I was hoping he could limit the damage and get out of there giving up two,” Yost said. “He just got 3-and-2 on the pitch to Castellanos that he drove over (leftfielder Alex) Gordon’s head. He was just fighting his command a little bit that inning.”
The Royals got one man past first base the first five innings. Orlando doubled with one out in the third and advanced to third on Alex Gordon’s fly out to right. Whit Merrifield flied out to center to end the threat.
Lorenzo Cain singled in the Kansas City fourth for the only other baserunner Norris allowed, but was erased when Eric Hosmer grounded into a double play.
“We didn’t generate much offense,” Yost said.
Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez was removed in the fourth inning with left groin soreness. He was replaced by Drew Butera.
NOTES: Switch-hitting Tigers 3B Jeimer Candelario did not start because of a sore left wrist, which bothers him when he swings right-handed. Andrew Romine started at third. ... With the Twins wrapping up a wild-card berth Wednesday, that cleared the final hurdle for Romine to play all nine positions Sunday in Minnesota. ... Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler, who is a career .300 hitter at Kauffman Stadium, was given the night off. ... Cheslor Cuthbert made his 28th start of the season at third base for the Royals with Mike Moustakas rested. Cuthbert, who has played only 55 games this season, said he will play winter ball. ... Tigers LHP Matthew Boyd will be the starter for the series opener Friday at Minnesota. ... Royals RHP Ian Kennedy and Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke will start Friday at Kauffman Stadium. Greinke was a 2002 first-round draft pick of the Royals. ... The Royals won 11 of 19 this season against the Tigers. ... Royals CF Paulo Orlando has homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.