Royals 7, Tigers 0
DETROIT (AP)—Jamey Wright didn’t look like a guy who spent most of the season in Triple-A.
“I thought I was a good enough pitcher to be in the big leagues somewhere,” Wright said. “To go out there for my childhood team growing up and my first win be a shutout is so nice.”
Detroit (38-109) tied a franchise record with its 109th loss, originally set in 1996. It’s also the most losses in the majors since then. The Tigers need to win five of their final 15 games to avoid tying the 1962 New York Mets for the most losses in a season since 1900.
Detroit’s 215 losses in consecutive seasons tie the 1916-17 Philadelphia Athletics for seventh-most in the majors since 1900.
It was the Tigers’ 16th shutout loss of the season, most in the majors.
“When a guy pitches a shutout, he deserves some credit,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “But with our club, you just don’t know. We just looked bland.”
Wright (1-1) earned his first major league victory since last September 23, when he beat Arizona while pitching for St. Louis. It was his first shutout since last July 1 at Pittsburgh, when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, and the fifth complete game of his career.
“Obviously, there’s a little more adrenaline in the ninth inning here than there is in the ninth inning in (Triple-A) Omaha,” Wright said. “I really wanted to finish that game and get that shutout.”
Wright started the year as a non-roster player with Seattle, but was released before the regular season. He pitched with Triple-A affiliates for Milwaukee and Texas before signing with Omaha, where he was 3-5 with a 3.64 ERA.
The Royals, who lost 3-0 to Detroit on Friday, improved to 11-3 against the Tigers this season and remained 3 1/2 games behind AL Central leaders Chicago and Minnesota.
“It was nice to see the ballclub bounce back,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “Today they came to play. Today, they went out and made things happen.”
In the first inning, Beltran doubled, Mike Sweeney walked and Beltran scored on Raul Ibanez’s single. After a double steal, Joe Randa drove in Sweeney with a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
The Royals added two more runs in the fifth on Beltran’s RBI single and Sweeney’s sacrifice fly. It was Sweeney’s first RBI in eight games.
Angel Berroa tripled in the seventh and scored on another sacrifice fly by Sweeney.
Beltran hit a two-run homer off Matt Roney in the ninth.
“Right now every win is important to us,” Beltran said. “We just have to go out there and play as a team, like we did today.”
Detroit’s Chris Mears (0-3), making his third major league start, lasted just 4 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits while walking two and striking out three.
Wright gave up seven hits while walking four and striking out seven.
Before the game, Pena said Jose Lima would return to the rotation Thursday, taking Wright’s spot. Now he has to reconsider.
“This kid, he deserves another chance,” Pena said.
Ken Harvey’s second-inning single extended his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. … With his stolen base in the first inning, Ibanez now has seven steals on the season, as many as he had in the previous three seasons combined. … Beltran’s fifth-inning steal was his 35th of the season, tying his career best set last year. … Alex Sanchez had two steals and hasbeen successful on 20 of his last 24 attempts.