The Kansas City Royals finally found the win column in 2018.
Behind a gem from starting pitcher Jakob Junis, the Royals walked away with a 1-0 win over the Tigers on a rainy Tuesday in Detroit.
Junis went seven innings strong and had “the stuff.” The big righty used impressive movement with his slider and sinker, mixing in a tailing fastball, to keep the Tigers bats at bay. Junis allowed only three hits while striking out six.
The lone run of the game came in the second inning. Cheslor Cuthbert led off with a bloop double and would later come around to score on a sac fly by Jorge Soler. Despite the Royals struggles on offense to start the season, one run was all that was needed this time around.
Another positive sign was the work put in by the bullpen. After Junis gave up a leadoff single to Mikie Mahtook in the eighth, Justin Grimm came in and closed the door. Kelvin Herrera finished things off in the ninth for the Royals, striking out two to get his first save of the season.
Kansas City now moves to 1-3 on the young season. The Tigers fall to 1-4.
Danny Duffy has a shot at redemption on Wednesday in the series finale. The lefty had a disastrous start on Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox, getting torched for three home runs in five innings of work in the 13-7 loss.
First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. in Detroit.
Maybe it’s just slow getting out of the gate. Maybe it’s a warning sign of how the rest of the season may play out in Kansas City.
If you are the Royals, you are hoping it’s the first part of that sentence.
After starting out 0-2 in the opening series at home against the Chicago White Sox (Sunday’s game was postponed due to weather), the Royals were hoping a trip up to Detroit would get the ball rolling.
Turns out that’s not the case, at least not yet.
Starter Jason Hammel threw a solid game until the fifth inning, where the Tigers put four runs on the board and would cruise to the 6-1 win. The final line for Hammel reads five runs on seven hits in five innings. The righty kept the left-handed hitters at bay with his tailing fastball that rides from the middle-out of the zone but the bats on the right side came through in the clutch for the Tigers.
The loss drops Kansas City to 0-3 to start off the 2018 campaign and there’s plenty of indicators worth worrying about. The offense has yet to really put any fear into opposing hitters, the Royals lone run was a sac fly by catcher Drew Butera in the third inning. The pitching staff is one that needs top-notch offensive support to help erase mistakes.
Without both worlds possibly coming together, things can trend downward quickly.
The Royals will now turn to Jakob Junis to lead the team to the first win of the season on Tuesday afternoon. The righty is coming off a solid rookie season, going 9-3 with a 4.30 ERA. Junis also had strong spring, finishing 2-0 record with a 1.88 ERA in four Cactus League starts.
The Tigers will counter with lefty Matthew Boyd, who struggled against the Royals last season with a 6.32 ERA in three starts. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. in Detroit.