Tigers 4, Royals 3
The Tigers remained two defeats short of the modern major league record, beating the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Wednesday night as Loux earned his first major league victory.
“My first big league win …” Loux said, his voice trailing off for a bit as he smiled and shook his head. “There’s no feeling like winning in the major leagues.”
The Tigers, who set an American League record with their 118th loss on Monday, matched a season high by turning four double plays.
After breaking a 10-game losing streak with a 15-6 victory Tuesday, they won consecutive games for the first time since taking three straight from Cleveland from Sept. 2-4.
“A couple of days ago, people started talking about how this would have been the game that tied it if we had lost all of them,” Loux said. “When we won yesterday, that helped a lot.”
Detroit must still go 3-1 in its season-ending homestand against AL Central champion Minnesota to avoid tying the post-1900 record of 120 losses set by the 1962 New York Mets.
The Tigers were 2-0 under former manager Larry Parrish, who was fired after the 1999 season and is now the manager of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. Alan Trammell took off Monday and Tuesday to attend his mother’s funeral in California but will rejoin the team for the Minnesota series.
“I’m quitting while I’m hot,” Parrish said with a smile.
Loux (1-1) gave up one run on three hits in five innings, walking one and striking out one. He faced only 17 batters as Detroit turned double plays behind him in the third and fourth innings.
His win came one year to the day after he started and took the loss, giving up five runs in four innings, in Kansas City’s 17-2 victory on Sept. 24, 2002. Loux won for the first time in five career decisions.
The Tigers also turned in double plays in the sixth and seventh.
Fernando Rodney came on with one on in the eighth and went the rest of the way, striking out two, for his third save in five opportunities.
That strong showing didn’t surprise Parrish, who managed Rodney for much of the year at Toledo.
“There’s not a manager in that league who didn’t rate him the top closer at that level,” Parrish said.
Royals starter Jimmy Gobble (4-5) could not overcome a disastrous first inning in which he threw 40 pitches, faced the entire Detroit lineup and gave up four runs on four hits.
“It felt like I threw 200 pitches that inning,” Gobble said.
Gobble pitched through the seventh, allowing only one more hit before being lifted for Curtis Leskanic.
“I made some adjustments I needed to make,” he said. “I’m disappointed I took the loss, but I think I pitched pretty well after the first inning.”
Raul Ibanez drove in two runs for the Royals and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, a career high.
His RBI grounder in the first inning cut Detroit’s lead to 4-1. In the sixth, Ibanez hit a one-run triple off reliever Matt Roney and scored on Aaron Guiel’s sacrifice fly off Jamie Walker to get the Royals within 4-3.
“We hit the ball OK tonight,” Guiel said. “We just had a couple of guys miss hits by not very much. Our fate should probably have been better than whatit was.”
The Royals activated OF Michael Tucker from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Tucker went on the DL on Aug. 5 with a broken bone in his lower right leg, the result of a foul tip one day earlier. … DH Mike Sweeney was not in the Royals’ lineup for the second straight night with lingering soreness in his upper back. The team listed him as day-to-day. … Tigers hitting coach Bruce Fields also missed Wednesday night’s game to attend the funeral of a friend. … Detroit OF Bobby Higginson sat out Wednesday night’s game, completing a two-game suspension stemming from his ejection Sept. 16 against Toronto. … Two of Rodney’s three saves since he was called up from Toledo onAug. 24 have come against Kansas City.