Royals 3, Tigers 0

James Shields and Danny Duffy were too much for the Detroit

Tigers’ offense.

Shields allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings and was

part of a combined four-hit shutout in Kansas City’s 3-0 win over

the Detroit Tigers on Friday night to give the Royals a sweep of a

day-night doubleheader.

Kansas City won the first game 2-1 as Duffy took a no-hitter

into the sixth inning and pitched a combined two-hitter.

”Huge day for us. Shields came back and, basically, matched the

outing that Duffy had,” said Eric Hosmer, who homered in each

game.

Royals pitching held the Tigers to a run and six hits combined

in the two games.

”You play 18 innings against a team like that and give up one

run, you’re doing something special,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost

said.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he isn’t worried about his AL

Central-leading club.

”It’s not a concern. We got what we got. It’s pretty simple,”

he said. ”Both teams got great pitching, and we didn’t must enough

offense.”

The Royals gained two games on Detroit to move within 6 1/2

games of the Tigers.

”We wanted to come in here and make a statement against these

guys,” Yost said.

Shields (8-8) won his fourth game in his past five starts. He

walked four and struck out one.

”Tonight I was pounding the strike zone but just missing with

some of my pitches,” Shields said. ” … I’ve been pitching well

all season. I’ve got a lot of quality starts. That’s what I care

about, not wins and losses.”

The Tigers threatened against Shields in the second and third

innings.

In the second, a walk to Andy Dirks and Brayan Pena’s single

gave Detroit runners on first and second with one out.

But Shields got both Ramon Santiago and Jose Iglesias to hit

pop-ups to the shortstop to get out of the inning.

But the biggest potential rally came in the third when the

right-hander walked Austin Jackson to lead off the third inning and

Torii Hunter singled him to second.

But Shields retired the next three hitters, using mostly his

change-up.

Miguel Cabrera was retired on weak roller to Shields between the

mound and first base on which the runners moved up to second and

third.

But Prince Fielder hit a short fly ball to left fielder Alex

Gordon. Despite Jackson’s speed, it wasn’t nearly deep enough for

him to score.

Shields then got Victor Martinez to line out to right to end the

inning.

”It’s huge, especially with their lineup and who was coming

up,” Shields said. ”You’ve got Miggy, Fielder and Victor, whose

one of the hottest hitters in the league … and Miggy, the best

hitter in the league.”

Luke Hochevar pitched a perfect eighth and Greg Holland worked

the ninth, allowing a hit, for his 34th save. He had saves in both

games of the doubleheader.

Jose Alvarez (1-3), called up from Triple-A Toledo to make the

start, took the loss. He gave up two runs and five hits in 5 2/3

innings, walking three and striking out five.

Alvarez’s only big mistakes came in the third with two outs. He

walked Jamey Carroll and Hosmer followed with his second home run

of the day, that gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. Hosmer blasted

Alvarez’s 1-1 change-up deep into the right-field stands for his

14th homer.

”I felt good, but I made one big mistake,” Alvarez said. ”I’m

here to win games for this team, and I didn’t do that, so I’m

disappointed.”

Alvarez was replaced by Jeremy Bonderman with two outs in the

sixth. Bonderman got the final out of that inning and the first two

outs of the seventh before being replaced by Phil Coke and Al

Alburquerque.

Carroll’s sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 3-0. It was an

unearned run off Bonderman, whose throwing error on an attempted

pickoff throw sent Chris Getz from first to third. He scored on the

sac fly.

Duffy (1-0) beat Justin Verlander in the opener.

Duffy was called up from Triple-A Omaha to make his second big

league start of the season, and didn’t allow a hit until Cabrera’s

hard-hit, two out single in the sixth.

”I was glad that they finally got one, honestly, because I just

wanted to pitch,” said Duffy, who underwent Tommy John surgery.

”I wanted to protect this arm.”

Kelvin Herrera replaced Duffy in the seventh and retired the

side in order. Aaron Crow worked the eighth and allowed Santiago’s

pinch-hit home run leading off the inning. Crow got the next three

batters.

”Would have liked to have been able to accomplish two things,

win and keep the bullpen fresh,” Verlander said. ”Just didn’t

happen that way. Felt like I threw the ball well. Just their guys

pitched extremely well, which is they’ve done all year.”

Verlander (12-9) allowed two runs and seven hits in eight

innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

”Our pitching was terrific tonight, both of them,” Leyland

said. ”I’m certainly not going to nitpick what they did.”

Kansas City made it 2-0 on consecutive doubles leading off the

seventh by Justin Maxwell and Emilio Bonifacio.

NOTE: With two outs in the second inning of the first game,

Bonafacio hit a soft liner that Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias

reached to his right to catch on the backhand. The ball popped out

of his glove back over Iglesias head, but he twisted his body to

catch it for the inning’s final out. … In the eighth, Bonifacio,

playing center field, and right fielder David Lough collided after

Bonifacio made a running catch of Cabrera’s long drive on the

warning track in deep right-center. … It was the Royals’ first

doubleheader sweep in Detroit since Aug. 5, 1984. … Royals

manager Ned Yost said third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has been

out since leaving Monday’s game with a tight calf, would do some

work on the field on Friday to assess his progress. … The Royals’

Billy Butler continued his mastery of Verlander in the first game.

Butler was 2 for 3 to run his career mark against the Tigers’ star

to 27-for-62 (. 435). … Saturday’s scheduled starters are Wade

Davis (6-9, 5.29 ERA) for Kansas City against Doug Fister (10-6.

3.60) for Detroit.