Greinke shuts down Tigers in 5-0 Royals’ win

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DETROIT (AP)—The Detroit Tigers have completed a freefall to the bottom of the AL Central.

Zack Greinke and Leo Nunez combined for a four-hitter to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 5-0 win over Detroit on Tuesday night.

With the loss, the Tigers fell a percentage point behind Kansas City for last place in the division. Detroit, which only has eight hits in its last two games, has lost 11 of its last 12 and was shut out for the 13th time this season.

“I’ll make things real simple,” Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland said. “We just haven’t played good enough.”

The Tigers were expected to contend for the division title and had hopes of getting to the World Series, but instead have faltered all season long.

Mike Aviles, Ryan Shealy and Alex Gordon homered for Kansas City, which has won 10 of its last 12.

“Unfortunately (staying out of last place), that’s what we have to play for now,” Shealy said. “At least we’re going in the right direction.”

Greinke (13-10) allowed four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out four. Nunez retired six straight in the eighth and ninth.

“It really wasn’t a dominating game. I didn’t have any location of any pitches,” he said. “My fastball was good but I wasn’t locating it good.”

Leyland had the opposite opinion.

“He pitched really well. He just powered us early and came back with the off speed stuff in the middle innings and kept us off balance,” the Detroit manager said. “He could have shutout a lot of people tonight.”

Freddy Garcia (1-1) took the loss. He gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out six in his second start after being signed to a minor league contract.

“He’s the kind of a guy that could really help this team,” said the Tigers’ Brandon Inge.

Aviles gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead with his ninth homer, with one-out in the first.

“Just a 3-1 fastball … He left it up a little bit,” Aviles said.

Garcia struck out the other three batters in the opening inning.

Detroit made a bid to tie the game in the second, but Jeff Larish was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Mark Teahen, trying to score from second, on Marcus Thames’ two-out single. Larish doubled with one out.

Home runs by Shealy and Gordon made it 4-0 in the fourth. Shealy led off with his seventh homer. Gordon then hit a two-run homer after a one-out walk to Billy Butler. It was Gordon’s 16th home run.

The Tigers threatened in the fourth with runners on second and third with two out. But Thames’ long drive was hauled in on the warning track by centerfielder David DeJesus to end the inning.

“Just throw strikes and they were making great plays behind me,” said Greinke.

Shealy’s two-out RBI double in the fifth gave the Royals a 5-0 lead. ^Notes: DeJesus was 1-for-3 to stretch his hitting streak to 14 games, in which he’s hitting .415 (22-for-53). … The announced attendance of 35,121 pushed Detroit’s season attendance to over 3,000,000 for the second time in franchise history. … Royals IF Alberto Callapso didn’t play because of a sore left quadriceps. … Leyland talked about the Tigers’ disappointing season before the game. “I stunk. With the year we’ve had, I stunk,” he said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’m not the (expletive deleted) Lone Ranger.”

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