There’s one way to quiet a sellout crowd and an offense that’s been on fire — an ace.
That’s exactly what David Price is and was in Kansas City on Saturday night.
Price threw a complete game, missing a shutout because of a two-out, ninth-inning Lorenzo Cain home run, as the Tigers (16-9) defeated the Royals, 2-1.
"To come out here and throw the ball the way I did, I haven’t thrown it that well this year, so to do it against that team, that felt good," Price told FOX Sports Detroit’s Justin White on the field after the game.
It was the 12th career complete game for Price, who held the Royals to just five hits.
"He’s one of the elite pitchers in the game," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told White. "That’s why we acquired him. He’s one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, one of the best teammates in all of baseball I’ve ever been around.
"The big thing for him is his command, and he had his command of his fastball tonight. It seemed like he was locating it very well."
It’s not all that surprising, given Price’s track record, but considering that the Royals lead all teams with a .300 batting average, it does make it more impressive.
It also snapped the Tigers’ two-game losing skid at the hands of the Royals, who have looked every bit the team that made the World Series last year.
"Just being normal David," third baseman Nick Castellanos said. "I don’t know how many times he’s done this for us, gone deep into games in the eighth, ninth inning. We needed it, especially against this Kansas City team that’s playing great baseball right now."
Price didn’t allow a runner past first base until the sixth inning, when his own fielding error gave the Royals runners at first and second with one out.
But Price got Mike Moustakas to ground weakly to third base, where Castellanos stepped on the bag and then threw to first base for the inning-ending double play.
Price also benefited from a running catch by Rajai Davis in right field and a catch in foul territory by defensive replacement Andrew Romine.
"The play Romine made — he sat on the bench for eight and a half full innings, and he comes out here — that should be a web gem," Price said. "
Price didn’t get a lot of run support, but Anthony Gose figured into both runs.
Gose broke up a double-play attempt in the third inning, when Ian Kinsler’s fielder’s choice allowed Rajai Davis to score.
Then in the fifth, Gose doubled and scored on Kinsler’s single.
"Anthony’s kind of like our spark plug," Castellanos said. "If he gets on, he’s like the key that unlocks the rest of our lineup because he gets going, as fast as he is, the stuff that he can create on the bases."
But it was Price’s night, and he proved that the Royals are, in fact, beatable. Now the Tigers have a chance to split the four-game series.
"That’s good, especially since they handled us pretty good the first two games," Gose said. "But if we can come out of here with a split and take some momentum into the next few series, it’ll be good for us."