KANSAS CITY— The Tigers capitalized on a series of seeing-eye hits and defensive misplays to score four runs in the eighth inning and rally for a 7-4 win over the Royals on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium, snapping Kansas City’s five-game win streak.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez was cruising along for the Royals through seven, retiring 13 straight. Then a grounder skipped off third baseman Mike Moustakas’ glove for a hit. Volquez walked Anthony Gose on four pitches before Jose Iglesias reached on a swinging bunt. Ian Kinsler rifled a two-run double to left, tying the score at 4 before manager Ned Yost went to reliever Kelvin Herrera. And that’s when it got weird.
Royals manager Ned Yost blamed himself for the loss.
“Herrera was ready [in the bullpen],” Yost said. “That’s my fault -- I’ve got a pretty hard and fast rule that I don’t let my starter get beat in the eighth inning, but I did it there. It cost Eddie a win and it cost us a win.”
After a short flyout, Herrera got J.D. Martinez to hit a fairly routine grounder to the right of shortstop Alcides Escobar, who would have had a play at the plate. Escobar misjudged it and the ball rolled into left (it was ruled a hit), scoring one run and giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Then, Tyler Collins hit another routine grounder to first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was slightly slow to home with his throw and another run scored, making it 6-4.
“Volquez was tough tonight. He was commanding his offspeed pitches really well,” Kinsler said. “When he’s doing that, he’s one of the best in the game. Tonight, he threw the ball great, but we were able to break through there.”
Escobar thought for sure he should have made his play.
“I got my glove on it and I should have had it,” he said. “I was playing a little bit up the middle with Herrera pitching. But I tried to hurry it too much. I would have had him at home. That’s on me.”
Victor Martinez doubled in a run in the ninth for the Tigers. Bruce Rondon, long considered the Tigers’ closer of the future, finished out the ninth for his third career save.