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Tigers’ Smyly shuts down Royals in 9-2 romp
Question of the Day
Both of those pleasant surprises factored into a 9-2 rout of the Royals on Saturday night. Smyly picked up where fellow starter Rick Porcello left off by keeping Kansas City off the scoreboard, and Castellanos drove in three runs before Detroit tacked on the final sixth in the ninth inning.
“I don’t know that would have been my guess,” Ausmus said, “but this is fine. I’m glad.”
Porcello and the Tigers bullpen retired the final 18 hitters in an 8-2 victory the previous night, and Smyly (2-1) retired the first four he faced. After a issuing a walk to Alex Gordon, the former reliever then retired the next six in a dominant performance.
Smyly wound up allowing two hits and two walks before giving way to Joba Chamberlain, who threw a perfect eighth. Phil Coke allowed two runs in the ninth to lose the shutout.
The win was the Tigers’ fifth straight over Kansas City.
Duffy moved from the bullpen back to the rotation in place of Bruce Chen, who went on the disabled list this week with a bulging disc in his back. Duffy was on a pitch count and wound up lasting just four innings, allowing two hits and walking four while throwing 75 pitches.
“Any time we lose, I’m not going to be happy with an outing,” he said. “But I felt like I kept my team in the game. I pounded the strike zone much as I could.”
Kansas City played without catcher Salvador Perez, who was given the night off after fouling a pitch off his shin in the series opener. Royals manager Ned Yost said he expects the All-Star to be back in the lineup Sunday - though they sure could have used his bat in this one.
The only hits the Royals could muster off Smyly came on Eric Hosmer’s double in the fourth and a single in the fifth by Danny Valencia, who was thrown out trying to reach second.
“These things turn around quick. You look at Detroit’s club and they are swinging the bats really good, all of them. They’re hot right now,” Yost said. “They’ve got good pitching, which attributes to some of it. But we think we’re a better offensive club than we’ve shown so far.”
Meanwhile, the Tigers took advantage of Duffy’s erratic ways.
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