Alex Gordon‘s first career grand slam to dead center field in the rain gave the KC Royals the 8-3 win over Detroit in ten innings. The Royals scored five runs in the 10th inning after only scoring three single runs to that point.
It was a battle of the two team’s aces, with James Shields matching up against Justin Verlander. Neither was on top of their game. Verlander left after seven innings due to cracked skin on his thumb (that got alot of talk going on Twitter). Prior to exiting, he scattered eight hits while allowing two runs (one earned). Shields was wild, as he walked three and threw three wild pitches.
In the 4th inning after the Royals had taken a 2-1 lead (on a Salvador Perez sac fly), Shields walked Prince Fielder to lead off the inning and then threw two wild pitches to put him on third base. With one out, Jhonny Peralta tied the game with a sac fly.
In the fifth, Omar Infante singled with one out and was wild pitched to second base. After a walk to Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter singled to give the Tigers the 3-2 lead. Shields was helped out by two double plays.
But what the game really came down to was the bullpens and the Royals shined on Thursday afternoon.
Bruce Rondon, who was supposed to start the season as the Tigers closer but did not, made his Major League debut in the 8th inning. Billy Butler singled to lead off the inning (he went 3-for-3), but was pinch-run for by Jarrod Dyson. He stole second base and moved to third base on Eric Hosmer‘s ground out. Lorenzo Cain delivered the tying run with a sac fly.
Rondon went back out to start the ninth and allowed a lead off single to Perez. He was replaced by Phil Coke and Perez was replaced by Elliot Johnson. After a Chris Getz sac bunt, Coke worked out of trouble.
Lefty Tim Collins replaced Shields, who had settled down late in the game (he retired the Tigers in order over his final three innings). Collins had every count go full, but had a 1-2-3 inning. That sent the game into extra innings.