EditorsNote: Clarifies Keller gave up the 1 run; adds walks to Boyd’s pitching line; clarifies 2 runs scored on Cuthbert hit in Graph 8; other minor edits
Brad Keller pitched eight strong innings while equaling his longest start of the season, Cheslor Cuthbert had a two-run single and the host Kansas City Royals downed the struggling Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Saturday.
Keller (5-9) gave up just one run on four hits, walked none and struck out seven. The Royals posted back-to-back wins at home for the first time since May 1. Ian Kennedy notched a ninth-inning save for the second straight night, his 13th overall this season.
Whit Merrifield reached base three times and scored once, and Bubba Starling, playing in his second major league game, added a hit and an RBI for the Royals.
The Tigers have lost five straight. Matthew Boyd (6-7) struck out 10, the fifth time he’s reached double digits this season. But Boyd took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks in seven innings.
Harold Castro drove in the only Tigers run with a triple, a hit that actually gave Detroit the lead. Brandon Dixon singled with one out in the second and Castro tripled him in an out later.
Detroit didn’t get another hit until the eighth inning.
The Royals got on the board in the fifth. Hunter Dozier led off the inning with a double. Jorge Soler then walked. After a flyout in which Dozier advanced to third, Starling smacked his first major league hit to left to tie the score. The Royals moved in front when Nicky Lopez followed with another single to bring home Soler.
Kansas City extended its lead with two more runs in the sixth. The Royals loaded the bases on walks to Merrifield, Alex Gordon and Soler. Cuthbert punched a single to left to drive in Merrifield and Gordon with two out.
The Tigers threatened with two out in the eighth on back-to-back singles by pinch hitter John Hicks and Jordy Mercer. But Gordon made a diving grab on a Victor Reyes fly ball to left to end the frame.
Kansas City also had two runners in the eighth on singles by Gordon and Soler. But reliever Joe Jimenez induced a double-play grounder from Cuthbert to snuff out that threat.
—Field Level Media