The Detroit Tigers looked to split the four-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Detroit achieved that goal with stellar pitching and a solid hitting performance. The Tigers topped the Royals, 6-4.
"We know the Royals pretty well. They know us pretty well," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, when asked to sum up the first series of the season between AL Central contenders. "I don't think there was any eureka moments. Just two pretty good teams."
The Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead after five innings because of both Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera.
Avila finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI and Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Avila singled in the second to score Yoenis Cespedes, then he cleared the bags in the fourth with a single. In the fifth inning, Miguel Cabrera launched a 420 foot home run to left, which drove in Ian Kinsler.
The Royals got things going offensively just a little too late. In the seventh, Kansas City scored two runs on Omar Infante's RBI single and Erik Kratz's sacrifice fly to score Kendrys Morales.
Mike Moustakas grounded out to second, but Christian Colon managed to score. Still in the eighth, Morales singled to left center to score Alex Gordon. That made it a two run deficit for Kansas City, but Detroit slammed the door shut.
Anibal Sanchez got the win and is now 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA. In the contest, he went 7.1 innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits and one walk, while recording four strikeouts.
"I guess I just know them really well," Sanchez said when asked why he continually confounds the Royals. "We'll see. I face them again in my next start."
Joakim Soria racked up his MLB leading 10th save of the season. After tons of closer issues last season, Soria is 10-for-10 in situations of the like for Detroit. He has a 1.54 ERA on the season.
"I thought we could have won three out of the four, quite honestly," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I felt we had a great opportunity to win that game last night."