Tigers 17, Royals 7
Pena’s line drive struck the Royals reliever on the forehead, leaving a clear imprint of the baseball.
Huisman was OK after Pena’s single, one of a team record-tying 27 hits by the Tigers in a 17-7 romp Thursday.
“We got so many base hits, I just couldn’t believe it,” Pena said.
Pena went 6-for-6 with two home runs and five RBIs, and now shares the club record for hits in a nine-inning game with Ty Cobb and two others.
“Things like this never happen. Very, very seldom do they happen,” Pena said.
Detroit also clubbed eight doubles in easily setting the major league high for hits this season, eclipsing the 23 the White Sox got against Minnesota on May 23.
The Tigers also had the most hits in the majors since Boston got 28 in a 25-8 rout of Florida at Fenway Park last June 27.
“What a day!” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “To me, that just sums it up.”
The 27 hits—eight doubles, 17 singles and Pena’s two home runs—tied the team record set on Sept. 29, 1928, against the New York Yankees.
Huisman was struck by Pena’s liner in the sixth. He wobbled a moment and then walked off without assistance.
Afterward, the seams of the ball could be easily seen on his forehead.
“It’s fine. I don’t hurt at all,” said Huisman, who deflected the ball a bit with his glove and cap.
“I’m more mad at how the outing and the game was going. It’s just one of those days when the ball was flying and they weren’t missing anything.”
Pena hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and added a three-run shot in the ninth.
Four Royals pitchers set a team record for hits allowed, breaking the mark of 26 against the Yankees in 1972.
The Tigers, a team that found itself on the wrong side of several lopsided games last season in setting an AL record with 119 losses, posted their 22nd victory. Last year, they did not win No. 22 until July 8.
“This feels good after chasing down 120 last year,” third baseman Brandon Inge said. “It was just one of those days when every ball was finding a hole. It was contagious, I guess.”
Winner Nate Robertson (4-3), a native of Wichita, Kan., went five innings, giving up three hits and two runs while dozens of friends and family watched his first appearance in Kansas City.
Brian Anderson (1-7), who leads the league with seven losses, 97 hits allowed and 51 earned runs, saw his ERA climb to 7.82. He was charged with six runs on 12 hits in four-plus innings.
“There’s not much to say,” he said. “That game pretty much speaks for itself. There’s not much I’m going to add to it. I don’t even feel bad for me anymore. I feel bad for the guys in this room who have to watch it.”
The Tigers put their leadoff hitter on base in each of the first six innings and scored in every inning except the fourth and seventh.
Inge and Rodriguez each had two RBIs in a six-run fifth that put the Tigers on top 10-2. In the sixth, the Tigers loaded the bases on three singles, with the third bouncing off Huisman’s head.
“That ball was smoked,” Trammell said. “It’s a good thing he was able to deflect it, or he wouldn’t be walking around.”
Ken Harvey homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Royals.
While some record books say the Tigers had 28 hits in that 1928 game, the Elias Sports Bureau said the official score sheet of that game lists Detroit with 27. … Sanchez laid down his league-leading seventh sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning after Infante doubled leading off. … Kansas City RF Byron Gettis had a rough major league debut. Brought up to replace the disabled Juan Gonzalez, he was 0-for-2, threw to the wrong base on one play, had trouble picking up the ball on another play and got hit by a pitch. … The Royals have been letting DH-1B Mike Sweeney practice in left field in anticipation ofinterleague play.