Kansas City 10, Detroit 2
July 20, 2007
DETROIT (AP) -- Billy Butler had four hits and four RBIs, leading Gil Meche and the Kansas City Royals past the Detroit Tigers 10-2 on Friday night.
Mark Grudzielanek also had four hits for Kansas City, including three against Kenny Rogers to raise his career batting average against the left-hander to .643 (9-for-14). The Royals are 23-18 since June 1 after posting 22 straight losing months.
Meche (7-6) improved to 4-0 in his last seven starts, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings. Meche, who has a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts at Comerica Park, struck out five without walking a batter.
Rogers (3-2) had his second poor start in a row after returning from injury with three straight wins. He allowed six runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA since the All-Star break.
Both teams scored single runs in the first. Kansas City got an RBI groundout from Butler before Gary Sheffield tied the score with his 23rd homer.
The Royals took a 4-1 lead in the third thanks to mental lapses by two excellent defenders.
Kansas City loaded the bases with one out and Butler lined a single to center. Esteban German scored easily from third, but Curtis Granderson had a chance to cut down Grudzielanek at the plate.
His throw was up the third-base line, however, and it skipped away from catcher Ivan Rodriguez. He and Rogers, who have combined for 17 Gold Gloves, both went after the loose ball, and Mark Teahen alertly raced to the unprotected plate before first baseman Sean Casey could get there.
The Tigers cut the margin to 4-2 on Magglio Ordonez's RBI single, but Kansas City came right back with two runs in the seventh and four in the ninth.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland left Rogers in for the seventh -- the first time he'd gone that far this season -- but German doubled on his first pitch and Grudzielanek followed with another double.
Butler greeted reliever Jose Capellan with an RBI single, making it 6-2. Butler faced Capellan again with two on and none out in the ninth and singled to load the bases.
David DeJesus followed with a blooper to left that turned into a wild play. First, Grudzielanek held up to see if Timo Perez would make the catch, then had to sprint to the plate to avoid being passed by Teahen.
At the same time, Perez's throw sailed into the dugout for an error, letting Butler score from third.
Emil Brown followed with an RBI groundout to make it 10-2.
Rogers was making his first appearance against Kansas City since losing in relief on the final day of last season -- the game that finished the Royals' improbable three-game sweep and handed the AL Central title to the Twins. ... Grudzielanek matched a career high with four runs scored. ... Butler, who made his major league debut on May 1, set a career high for hits. He had six RBIs on July 3. ... The game marked the start of the annual Negro Leagues tribute weekend, and the Tigers celebrated by putting up a plaque honoring Detroit Stars Hall of Famer Turkey Stearnes.
Updated on Friday, Jul 20,