Royals’ Brady Singer continues his mastery over Tigers, win streak halted

Detroit News

Kansas City, Mo. — Manager AJ Hinch was asked prior to the game what he thought might be at the core of lefty starter Tyler Alexander’s recent struggles.

“It’s been quality of strikes,” he said. “He’s always been a really good strike-thrower. But he’s been spraying it a little more recently and it’s forced him to the middle of the plate and the middle part of the plate is dangerous for anybody.”

A spot-on analysis which, unfortunately for the Tigers and Alexander, was repeated Sunday as the Royals salvaged the finale of the three-game series with a 4-0 win at Kauffman Stadium.

It was the 20th time the Tigers have been shut out this season, tying the club record of 20 set in 1975.

Alexander struggled to lock in his command early, fell behind hitters, walked one, hit one and by the time he got through a long second inning, he and the Tigers were in a 3-0 hole.

BOX SCORE: Royals 4, Tigers 0

It was 4-0 after left-handed hitting Michael Massey ambushed a first-pitch cutter leading off the fourth and slammed it around the foul pole in right field.

In his last four starts, Alexander has allowed 19 earned runs in 17 innings. After yielding just five home runs in his first 17 outings, he’s allowed eight in his last five.

Going in the wrong direction.

“He gets into leverage counts better than most when he’s going well,” Hinch said. “His stuff as been just OK. His execution has been off.”

The Tigers’ offense, meanwhile, is still trying to crack the code of Royals right-hander Brady Singer. He threw seven scoreless innings at them, allowing just four hits. He is now 6-0 in 10 career starts against the Tigers and has allowed two runs or less in eight of them.

Throwing a 50-50 mix of sinkers and sliders, he had them beating balls into the dirt all day Sunday — 13 ground-ball outs. He also struck out six.

The Tigers put three runners in scoring position. The last on a one-out double by Spencer Torkelson, who extended his hit streak to six games. He went to third on a wild pitch.

But Singer struck out Kerry Carpenter and got Jonathan Schoop on a ground out to third. It was the sixth assist of the day for third baseman Hunter Dozier.

The loss snaps the Tigers’ three-game winning streak.

Twitter: @cmccosky

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