Tigers 3, Royals 0

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DETROIT (AP)—The Kansas City Royals keep struggling to stay in the AL Central race.

Mike Maroth won for the first time since Aug. 2, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Royals 3-0 Friday night for their fifth shutout this year.

“We’ve been loose all season,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. “But I don’t see that same looseness right now.”

Kansas City had been 10-2 against Detroit. While the Royals started the season 17-4, they’ve lost 10 of their last 14. They remained 3 1/2 games back of AL Central co-leaders Chicago and Minnesota, which both lost.

Maroth (7-20), who had been 0-5 in six starts since beating Minnesota in his first start of August, scattered five hits in six-plus innings.

“I’m happy for him,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “I’ve repeated myself many times, and I’ll repeat myself again: His record is not indicative of how well he’s pitched. Of late, he has not pitched as well, but you have to factor in the whole season. He’s pitched pretty good baseball and doesn’t have a lot to show for it.”

On Sept. 5, Maroth became the first 20-game loser in the major leagues since Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980.

“Obviously, with everything that was going on before, it was something that was on my mind,” Maroth said. “Obviously, I didn’t have to think about it today. Maybe I was just able to concentrate more on the game as opposed to what the outcome was going to be.”

Maroth left after Ken Harvey’s leadoff single in the seventh. Matt Anderson, Jamie Walker and Fernando Rodney combined for one-hit relief, with Rodney getting four outs for his second career save.

Warren Morris drove in two runs and scored another for the Tigers, who stopped a six-game losing streak.

Detroit (38-108), which got its first shutout since July 13 against Boston, ended its ninth losing streak of six games or longer and avoided tying the club record for losses in a season, set in 1996. The Tigers need five or more wins in their last 16 games to avoid tying the 1962 New York Mets for the most losses in a season since 1900.

Paul Abbott (1-1) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings, allowing at least one runner in each inning.

Morris homered in the first and had an RBI single in the fifth. Dmitri Young followed with a sacrifice fly.

“Those are going to happen,” Abbott said of the home run. “I was more concerned about keeping it close. Those two runs in the fifth were harder to swallow than the home run.”

Kansas City’s Mike Sweeney hit a long fly ball with two on in the third that was caught at the fence in left-center field.

“When you’re going good, it goes out,” Sweeney said. “When things are tough, they catch it at the wall.”

Rondell White doubled with one out in the fourth and was thrown out at the plate by Craig Monroe when he tried to score on Mendy Lopez’s two-out single to left. Monroe, who threw out the Yankees’ Jorge Posada at the plate on Thursday, has seven outfield assists this season.

“You’ve got to try and score when there’s two outs,” White said. “He madea nice throw.”


Trammell said reliever Danny Patterson won’t pitch again this season. Patterson pitched in 19 games after coming back in July from elbow surgery. … Young’s seventh-inning double was the 200th of his major league career. … The game was the first of seven between the clubs in the final 17 games. … Tigers 3B Eric Munson had the cast removed on the left thumb, which he broke last month. Trammell said there’s a chance Munson could return before the end of the season. … White has five hits—all doubles—in nine at-bats againstMaroth.

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