Tigers tamed by Royals' Santana in 1-0 loss

BY foxsports • July 19, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Anibal Sanchez pitched well enough to win on most nights. Ervin Santana was just better on this one.


Santana, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland
combined on a two-hitter as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit
Tigers 1-0 on Friday.


Sanchez was the tough-luck loser as the Royals snapped a five-game losing streak.


Alex Gordon led off the Royals' first
with a single to right, stole second with one out and scored on Billy
Butler's ground-ball single to center on a hanging slider on an 0-2
pitch.


That was the only run Sanchez (7-7) would allow in six innings, but that was one too many.


"My command today wasn't the best," the
right-hander said. "A lot of times I was behind. I just tried to throw
my best pitch. I felt good, I felt healthy. I was strong all day long. I
finished my game strong.


"I kept the score right there. You have to give them credit sometimes. Santana threw a good ballgame."


The Tigers managed just two singles off Santana and did not have a runner reach second base.


"He's a very good pitcher," Tigers
manager Jim Leyland said. "He doesn't give you anything and he knows how
to pitch and he's got very good stuff. I really liked him when he was
with the Angels. He's always been a pitcher I've liked."


Sanchez, who was making his third start
since coming off the disabled list with a shoulder strain, left after
101 pitches, allowing four singles, walking five and striking out three.


The Royals loaded the bases with two
outs in the sixth on Butler's single and walks to Mike Moustakas and
David Lough, but failed to score as Alcides Escobar struck out to end
the inning.


"That was the big play of the game," Sanchez said. "I didn't want to allow any more runs."


Santana (6-6), who was coming off his
worst outing of the season, when he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in a
July 11 loss at Cleveland, retired the first 10 Tigers before Torii
Hunter's one-out single in the fourth.


Herrera, who was just recalled from
Triple-A Omaha, replaced Santana in the eighth after he walked Jhonny
Peralta with one out. Herrera retired Andy Dirks on a grounder and
struck out Alex Avila looking.


Holland worked a flawless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 opportunities, striking out one.


The Royals are 4-2 against the American
League Central Division-leading Tigers, with five of the games decided
by two or less runs.


The Tigers were shut out for the seventh time this season, three of them by 1-0.


Hunter flied out to the center-field fence in the first and singled in the fourth for half of the Detroit hits.


"We hit the ball hard," Hunter said.
"It just didn't work out. Coming off four days off there might have been
a little bit of rust. Santana had that good fastball. His slider was
working. His fastball was working. He was throwing 94, 95 with his
fastball. You've got to tip your cap. We just didn't have it."


Notes: 2B Chris Getz, who was recalled
after hitting .313 in 14 games with Triple-A Omaha, started Friday. He
went 0 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout. ... Tigers IF Omar Infante,
who went on the disabled list July 4, will link up with the club
Saturday for an evaluation of his sprained left ankle. He has been
rehabbing at the Tigers' facility in Lakeland, Fla. ... RHP Justin
Verlander, who starts Saturday, has a 0.64 ERA in two games this season
against the Royals, but no decisions. The Royals will counter with RHP
Jeremy Guthrie, who is 5-2 in seven home starts this season. .The Tigers
fell to 9-12 in one-run games.


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