Kansas City, Mo. — The Tigers did what they were supposed to.
They came into Kauffman Stadium and won three out of four games from the second-worst team in baseball.
They finished off the series Thursday with a 3-0 win and will bring a 5-2 record home from this road trip to Seattle and Kansas City.
Tigers starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen, like Eduardo Rodriguez Wednesday night, was pitching with a lot of eyes on him. He’s likely drawing interest from contending teams ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline and his value is increasing with every start.
With seven shutout innings, he extended his career-best scoreless innings streak to 21⅔ innings. That’s the longest active streak in the big leagues, as well. The Royals managed just three hits against him. Lorenzen walked one and struck out three, but he got one weak-contact out after another.
The Royals put 20 balls in play against him with an average exit velocity of 87.3 mph. He had one long inning, a 26-pitch second. But balanced that with a nine-pitch third and a seven-pitch sixth. He finished his seven innings in 89 pitches.
Lorenzen stranded a runner at third in the second inning and got a boost from his defense in the sixth. Kyle Isbel ripped a ball into the right-center field gap and tried to stretch a double into a triple. The Tigers cut him down at third on a textbook relay — from right fielder Zach McKinstry to shortstop Javier Báez to third baseman Nick Maton.
Lefty Tyler Holton pitched a clean eighth inning and needed only five pitches to do it. Jason Foley closed it out in the ninth.
The Tigers got the pleasure of facing crafty veteran Zack Greinke, who made his first start since July 4 when he went on the injured list with shoulder tendinitis.
They didn’t do much against him, just one four-batter flurry in the second inning. With two outs, Maton singled and Akil Baddoo drew a five-pitch walk. That set the table for RBI singles by Andy Ibanez and Eric Haase.
The Royals went to their bullpen after the fourth.
The Tigers scored again in the fifth off lefty Austin Cox. McKinstry lashed a one-out triple to the gap in right-center and scored on a sacrifice fly by Spencer Torkelson.
Not a ton of offense, but plenty enough.
The Tigers are at eight games under .500 for the first time since June 8 (44-52).