Tigers 15, Royals 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The Detroit Tigers knew that half a continent away, their manager was happy for them.
With Alan Trammell in California for his mother’s funeral, the Tigers got three home runs and several clutch plays to beat Kansas City 15-6 Tuesday night in a ragged game that kept them two defeats from the post-1900 major league record
“I wish Tram could be here,” said Mike Maroth, who went five innings as the Tigers stopped a 10-game losing streak.
“With everything we’ve gone through this year, and this being our biggest margin—I just wish he could be here.”
Detroit’s 118th loss against the Royals on Monday night surpassed the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics for the most defeats in AL history.
“We didn’t always hit the ball hard. But we put them in play instead of striking out,” said Larry Parrish, the Triple-A Toledo manager who was filling in for Trammell.
Kansas City’s loss combined with Minnesota’s victory over Cleveland eliminated the Royals from the AL Central race.
Still, one year after losing a franchise-record 100 games, they had shocked almost everyone by staying in contention until the final week of the season and re-igniting baseball interest in their town.
“We’re a little down right now with Minnesota clinching,” third baseman Joe Randa said. “When the season is over and we look back and reflect, we’ll see it’s been a pretty good year.”
Every starter in each lineup got at least one hit. Every Tigers starter had at least one RBI and all but one scored as Detroit rang up its highest run total in more than two years. Omar Infante was 4-for-6 with three runs scored.
The crowd booed when catcher Mike DiFelice simply stood at the plate and took a relay throw as Infante slid home in the seventh with Detroit’s 15th run.
Maroth (8-21) went five innings and gave up six runs on 10 hits, with a walk and two strikeouts.
Detroit hadn’t won since Sept. 12, when Maroth shut out Kansas City 3-0 and made the Royals the first team in 29 years to lose to a 20-game loser.
“We’ve got to take it game-by-game at this point,” Maroth said. “The biggest thing for us is if we go out there and give it everything we have, when the season’s over we won’t second-guess ourselves.”
Next, in one of those goofy plays these Tigers will be remembered for, Maroth threw to first and caught White off the bag.
Then back came the Tigers, loading the bases with no outs in the fourth on bunt singles to first, second and third.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one,” a grinning Parrish said.
After Morris’ infield out made it 8-6, Monroe hit a three-run homer off Kris Wilson.
“That was big,” Parrish said. “They had closed the gap and Maroth was struggling.”
Hinch homered off Brad Voyles in the seventh.
Morris homered in the first for the Tigers, then Angel Berroa homered leading off for the Royals.
Sanchez and Andres Torres had RBI singles in the second and Infante hit an RBI single in the third. DiFelice had an RBI single in the third.
“We did some things pretty well tonight,” Parrish said.
Then pitching coach Bob Cluck stuck his head in the room, holding a cell phone to his ear and grinning broadly.
“Skipper says, `Nice going,”’ he said.
It was Detroit’s highest run total since scoring 19 against Texas on Aug. 8, 2001. The 18 hits were their most since getting 19 on July 26th, 2002. … Royals DH Mike Sweeney was not in the lineup because of discomfort in his neck and upper back. It’s the same area that kept him out of the lineup for several weeks earlier. … Royals RHP Paul Abbott will miss his final start Saturday night with a strained muscle in his side. Jamey Wright will take his place. … Detroit OF Bobby Higginson was suspended for two games following his ejection on Sept. 16 against Toronto. … Tigers hitting coach Bruce Fields is away from the team until Thursday because of the death of a close friend. … Berroa tied the Royals’ record of 16 hit-by-pitches set by Mike MacFarland in1994. Berroa is four shy of the major league rookie record.