Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks belted solo
homers to back six sharp innings from Doug Fister as the Detroit Tigers
averted a three-game series sweep by the Kansas City Royals with a 4-1 victory
at Kauffman Stadium.
Dirks was one of four Detroit players to finish with two hits, while Brayan
Pena added two RBI on a pair of sacrifice flies for the AL Central leaders.
Fister (8-5) did his part by holding the Royals to a run on six hits while
striking out five before turning the game over to the bullpen, where three
Tiger relievers kept Kansas City off the board the rest of the way.
"I felt great today, from the first pitch to the last," Fister said. "I'm
right where I need to be."
Joaquin Benoit gave up a hit in the ninth before closing things out for his
ninth save in as many chances this season.
The Royals went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position en route to their
sixth loss in eight games, with Miguel Tejada's solo homer in the second
inning accounting for the club's lone run.
"We hit a lot of balls hard on the ground, we just couldn't get that big hit,"
Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said.
James Shields (4-7) worked seven innings in defeat for Kansas City, allowing
three runs on nine hits while fanning six.
The teams were deadlocked at 1-1 when Dirks hammered a Shields pitch deep to
straightaway center field with one out in the top of the fifth, with the ball
landing over the wall just beyond the reach of a leaping Lorenzo Cain. The
Tigers added to the lead in the seventh, an inning which began with three
straight singles that loaded the bases with none out.
Shields limited the damage by striking out Dirks and getting Pena on a fly
ball that scored Prince Fielder from third, and later left the bases loaded by
fanning Austin Jackson to keep it a two-run game.
The Royals couldn't generate any offense over the latter stages, however, as
Drew Smiley and Bruce Rondon both retired the side in order after taking over
for Fister. Mike Moustakas reached Benoit for an infield hit to begin the
bottom of the ninth, but was erased on a double-play grounder off the bat of
Cabrera's 31st homer of the season, a line-drive shot just inside the foul
pole in left, put Detroit up 1-0 after one inning. The Royals drew even when
Tejada crushed a Fister fastball into the seats in left center in the bottom
of the second.
Fielder, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta also collected two hits for
Detroit ... Cain extended his career-best hit streak to nine games with a
single in the sixth inning ... Shields dropped to 1-4 in 10 starts at Kauffman
Stadium this year, with his lone victory coming against his former Tampa Bay
Rays team on April 30 ... Jackson and Torii Hunter both struck out three times
in four at-bats for the Tigers, though the former had a sixth-inning single
that snapped an 0-for-18 skid.
The Sports Network