The KC Royals couldn’t pull off the series victory in Detroit, as they lost on Sunday 3-2. That was all despite the comeback against the Tigers bullpen after 19-game winner Max Scherzer left the game.
Scherzer was cruising along, having only allowed three hits heading into the 7th inning. With one out, the Royals put together back-to-back hits off him and he looked a little rattled. However, he escaped the jam and was pumped headed to the dugout. He left after seven, with his only blemish being an Alex Gordon solo home run in the fourth.
The Royals went to work against the usually reliable Drew Smyly in the eighth. Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a double. Gordon could not move him to third base, as he weakly flied out to left field. So Escobar took matters into his own hands and stole third base as Emilio Bonifacio struck out. Escobar would then score on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2.
There went Scherzer‘s 20th win of the season.
The tie did not last long. For some reason, manager Ned Yost sent starter Jeremy Guthrie back out to the mound for the 8th inning, despite struggling through the first seven innings (and having the best bullpen in the American League with an abundance of rested relievers). He had already allowed 12 hits, but somehow did not allow a hit with men in scoring position. His blemish was a two-run homer off the bat of Alex Avila in the second.
Avila stepped to the plate with one out in the eight and blasted the third pitch of the at-bat over the right centerfield wall to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
The Royals went down quietly in the ninth against Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit.
The loss kept the Royals at 3.5 games back of a Wild Card spot, as both TB and Texas also lost. However, Baltimore won, moving the Orioles to 2.5 games back. Cleveland beat Chicago moved them to just a 1/2 game back of a postseason spot. The NY Yankees are once again losing to Boston, which would push them to just a 1/2 game ahead of the Royals.