KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Detroit Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann was efficient, throwing only 93 pitches in eight innings and had reached a three-ball count on only two hitters.
The Tigers needed that kind of performance from Zimmermann after giving up 26 runs the previous two days in losses to the Kansas City Royals.
It was not enough, however, as the Royals pulled out a 2-1 victory in 13 innings on Cheslor Cuthbert’s game-winning RBI single.
“I knew I had to go deep,” Zimmermann said. “I just went out there and pitched my game. Everything was working and when it’s working like that it is fun to pitch. If you fall behind in the count you can come with something other than a fastball at any time in the count and keep them off balance.”
Zimmerman yielded one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five.
“He was very good,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He was throwing strikes and got them chasing pitches out of the strike zone. His pitch count was down and he was sharp. He did an excellent job. He deserved to get a ‘W’ really.”
Zimmermann lobbied to pitch the ninth with his pitch count low.
“I kind of figured I was going out for the ninth but he (Ausmus) wanted to hand it off to the bullpen and I told him I was fine for the ninth,” Zimmermann said. “He said you did your job today and handed it off to the bullpen and they did great today. They did their job. We just couldn’t scratch any runs across.”
The Royals won six of seven on their homestand and have the best home record in the American League at 25-8.
Young threw six innings, matching his longest outing of the year, holding the Tigers to three hits and one run, while walking one and striking out seven. Young is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 10 career outings against the Tigers.
“Young’s been tough against our team, even when he was with Seattle a couple of years ago,” Ausmus said. “He’s consistently stuck it to us and he did it again today.”
Salvador Perez led off the 13th with a single to right off left-hander Kyle Ryan (1-2), who was just promoted from Triple-A Toledo. Cain ran for Perez and advanced to second on Miguel Cabrera’s error on Ryan’s pickoff attempt.
After Kendrys Morales was walked intentionally, Paulo Orlando moved the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Ryan walked Brett Eibner intentionally to load the bases. Cuthbert then grounded a single to left to score Cain.
Chien-Ming Wang (4-0) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings to pick up the victory.
Left-hander Justin Wilson replaced Zimmermann and hit speedy Jarrod Dyson with his first pitch. After Whit Merrifield popped up foul on a bunt, Wilson picked Dyson off first base and retired Alcides Escobar on a fly ball
Steven Moya’s first major league home run to lead off the third was Young’s only hiccup. Young has allowed 19 home runs 51 1/3 innings, but the past 14 have been with the bases empty.
“Wow, just a happy feeling,” Moya said. “To get that one out of the way, that first one, it felt great.”
Eibner’s ground out in fifth scored Morales to tie the score at 1. Morales led off the inning with a single and stopped at third on Orlando’s double to left. Eibner’s grounder to shortstop Jose Iglesias got Morales’ home.
After Young exited, Joakim Soria pitched a perfect seventh, while Kelvin Herrera struck out the side on 14 pitches in the eighth. Wade Davis walked one in a scoreless ninth.
TIGERS CALL UP TWO
The Tigers recalled RHP Bruce Rondon and Ryan from Triple-A Toledo and put them in a beleaguered bullpen, which had allowed 18 runs in 6 2/3 innings the previous two games. LHPs Matt Boyd and Blaine Hardy were sent to the minors after the 16-5 loss Saturday to the Royals. Manager Brad Ausmus said a decision has not been finalized on who will start Thursday in Boyd’s place. While Ryan took the loss Sunday, Rondon pitched two perfect innings, striking out three.
Tigers CF Cameron Maybin was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales in the 11th inning for debating a called third strike. Andrew Romine replaced him.
The Royals went 14 for 25 with runners in scoring position Saturday. That is their most successful with RISP since a record 17-for-25 effort on Sept. 9, 2004, at Detroit. They went 1 for 4 with RISP on Sunday.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (fractured right wrist) went 1 for 3 in his first rehab game Sunday with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He doubled in his first at-bat and struck out
Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey, who has allowed 91 hits and walked 30 in 71 1/3 innings, will start Monday against the Mariners, who will counter with RHP Nathan Karns.
Royals: They are off before a two-game series begins Tuesday at the Mets in a World Series rematch. RHP Ian Kennedy will start the first game.
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