Detroit Tigers’ offense shines again in rain-shortened 8-4 win over Kansas City Royals

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers, swinging in the rain, beat up on the Kansas City Royals for the second time in as many days. The offense scored 10 runs Friday, then eight more runs Saturday.

An 8-4 rain-shortened victory gives the Tigers a chance to sweep the series Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Rookie Kerry Carpenter hit a solo home run, his fourth of the year, in the second inning.

The Tigers tacked on four runs in the top of the fifth inning. After the fifth, with the Tigers ahead by four runs, the game became official. Because of the rain, the Tigers and Royals went into a rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning. Nearly one hour later, the game was called despite the Royals not getting a chance to bat last at home, due to the weather.

Right-hander Matt Manning pitched into the seventh inning and allowed three runs (two earned runs) on three hits and one walk with four strikeouts. He threw 60 of 94 pitches for strikes.

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The Royals scored first in the first inning on Salvador Perez’s RBI single after Bobby Witt Jr.’s one-out double. It was the 24th double of the season for Witt, a rookie and the No. 2 overall pick in 2019.

Manning then held the Royals scoreless until the fourth inning, when Perez opened the bottom half of the frame with a single. He scored on Michael A. Taylor’s groundout for the second out in the inning. Manning struck out Michael Massey, the next batter, to end the fourth.

By that point, though, the Tigers were in control, 4-2. Manning exited with one out in the seventh, replaced by left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin. Although the Royals scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, which began with Manning’s walk to Pasquantino, Chafin struck out MJ Melendez with two runners on base to escape.

Chafin allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk. Both runs in the seventh — one charged to Chafin, another to Manning — were unearned because of a fielding error by Harold Castro on Javier Báez’s attempt to get a forceout at second. Castro missed the ball.

For his 94 pitches, Manning threw 54% four-seam fastballs (57%), 13 changeups (14%), 12 curveballs (13%), 10 sliders (11%) and five sinkers (5%). He recorded seven swings and misses: four fastballs, one changeup and two sinkers.

A steady diet of offense

In the third inning, Carpenter countered Perez’s punch with a solo home run off right-hander Jonathan Heasley’s 3-0 fastball to put the Tigers on the scoreboard and tie the game at 1-1.

The Tigers added three runs for a 4-1 advantage in the third inning, scoring runs on Victor Reyes’ triple, Báez’s double and Castro’s single.

In the fifth, Akil Baddoo walked and Riley Greene singled. Reyes drove in both runners with an RBI single to right-center field, extending the lead to 6-2. Báez upped the margin to 7-2 when he tripled to deep right-center field, and Castro made it 8-2 with his RBI single to center field on a 3-0 fastball.

Heasley allowed seven runs on seven hits and two walks over four innings. He failed to record a strikeout and struggled to throw strikes. The Tigers continuously took advantage of those mistakes for their third win in a row. Five players finished with two hits: Reyes, Báez, Castro, Carpenter and Spencer Torkelson.

Although Torkelson didn’t score, he went 2-for-4 with a triple and a strikeout. Reyes drove in three runs on his two hits, while Báez and Castro drove in a pair of their own.

The Tigers were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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