What is it about The K that makes the Tigers feel so at home?
Jeremy Guthrie has command issues and the Tigers take advantage as the Royals get blasted 16-4 in the opener of a four-game set in Kansas City.
J.D. Martinez and the Tigers crossed the plate a season-high 16 times Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Charlie Riedel / AP
By Jeffrey Flanagan
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- That giant pop you heard Thursday night was the Detroit Tigers sticking a pin in the Royals' balloon.
A night after the Royals scored their most dramatic triumph of the season, they got mauled by the Tigers, 16-4. That is not the way Kansas City wanted to start this huge four-game series with first-place Detroit.
"We just didn't pitch well," manager Ned Yost said. "That's all there was to it."
And worse yet, the Tigers continue to treat Kauffman Stadium as one giant batting cage -- Detroit now is 4-0 at The K this season and has outscored the Royals 42-12 in those games.
"We did that to them in their place," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "That's the way it goes some time.
"Any time you lose it's no fun. It seemed like this game took a long time, and it felt like they were batting the whole time. But hey, we'll bounce back. I wish the next game started 10 minutes from now."
-- Billy Bomb and Hoz homer return. A small consolation, obviously, but it was encouraging to see Butler and Eric Hosmer show they might be getting their home-run strokes back. Butler hit just his third all season, a blast to left-center field. "I wish it had meant more," Butler said. "It made it 6-2 at the time and then the game kind of got away from us." Hosmer hit his second homer in two days, a tremendous shot near the fountains in deep right-center field. Hosmer now has hit in 10 straight games. If the Royals can get some power production from these two hitters, they have a better chance of treading water while Alex Gordon (sprained wrist) and Jason Vargas (appendectomy) remain sidelined. "We need Billy and Hoz for this offense," Yost said.
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-- Dyson making his case. Many Royals fans have been clamoring for Jarrod Dyson to become the starter in center field. What has prevented Dyson in the past from becoming a starter is his inability to hit lefties (career .195 hitter/hideous .505 OPS). But Dyson, against tough left-hander Drew Smyly, had a nice night with two singles and an RBI and a stolen base. And as Raul Ibanez continues to struggle, Dyson might stay in the lineup when Gordon returns, though there remains the Nori Aoki question, too, when he comes off the disabled list.
-- Hat tip to the Twitter fans. Normally, it's not a great night to have a Twitter chat when the Royals get wiped out so early in the night. But hey, Royals fans stayed with it and we had more questions posed than our first two Twitter chats combined. Nicely done, Royals fans.
-- Horrible night for Guthrie. Any momentum the Royals had garnered after Wednesday's dramatic win was zapped early because starter Jeremy Guthrie basically had nothing. Too bad, too, because the Royals early on seemed prepared to make it a fight. After falling behind 3-0, the Royals scraped across a run in the second with three straight singles after two were out. And Hosmer, the next hitter, nearly hit one out, flying out to deep center for the third out. But Guthrie gave up three more runs in the fourth, then two more baserunners in the fifth before Yost mercifully yanked him. The Royals really needed a competitive start from Guthrie, a veteran, and didn't get it. Not even close. "Just struggled with command," Guthrie said. "I think I was overthrowing."
-- Coleman not helping himself. Right-hander Louis Coleman struggled mightily in his last stint with the Royals, so much so that it prompted a trip down to the minors. Coleman may be headed back there soon after another dreadful outing Thursday. In relief of Guthrie and Scott Downs, Coleman essentially tossed up batting practice, giving up five hits and four runs in less than two innings. It got so bad that fans actually were booing Coleman. Yikes.
-- Ibanez slump continues. The Royals want to believe that Ibanez can help this team, but he is making it awfully hard for them to keep the faith. Since his homer in Minnesota, Ibanez now is 0 for 23 after another 0 for 4 night. Ibanez also committed an error in left field.