Romine flashes familiar familial versatility

Detroit Tigers

The last time a Romine had to change defensive positions in a Tigers uniform, Andrew Romine played all nine positions on the next-to-last game of the 2017 season. Three years later, at the same point on the Tigers’ schedule, his younger brother Austin had a two-run double, caught three innings

The last time a Romine had to change defensive positions in a Tigers uniform, Andrew Romine played all nine positions on the next-to-last game of the 2017 season. Three years later, at the same point on the Tigers’ schedule, his younger brother Austin had a two-run double, caught three innings from Matthew Boyd, then played some solid first base in a pinch as Detroit ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Royals Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Tigers had lost their previous four games by one run apiece, the first time they’d done that since 1996. A bigger concern than close losses Saturday, however, was lost players. Shortstop Willi Castro and infielder Harold Castro left in the second and fourth innings with right shoulder soreness and low back tightness, respectively, leaving the Tigers short on infielders.

Box score

Austin Romine doesn’t have the positional versatility of his older brother, but he was an occasional first baseman for the Yankees in his younger years. However, he hadn’t played there since Aug. 27, 2017, a month before Andrew Romine played all nine for the Tigers. Once Harold Castro left and Brandon Dixon moved from first to second base, off went Romine to first.

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Romine didn’t show much rust, fielding a grounder and outrunning Nicky Lopez to the bag in the fifth inning before handling a tricky chopper from Alex Gordon in the sixth.

Before Romine played at first base, he played a run production role; his two-run double off the center-field wall was part of a three-run opening inning that gave Detroit its first lead since Tuesday’s 10th inning in Minnesota at the start of the trip. Willi Castro added an RBI single before he left for what wound up being the decided run.

Boyd (3-7), staked to a 4-1 lead, held off Royals rallies for six quality innings to beat the Royals for the second time in 12 days and end his difficult 2020 season on a high note. He allowed an Adalberto Mondesi homer in the first inning and Mondesi’s third-inning RBI double to continue Mondesi’s torrid series, but stranded the tying run in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings. Whit Merrifield’s seventh-inning double put the tying run on again, but Joe Jiménez struck out Mondesi — Mondesi’s first out of the series — and Salvador Perez.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

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