DETROIT (AP)—Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost’s hunch paid off.
Yost inserted Bloomqust, a veteran utility man, into the third spot in the Royals order in an attempt to spark the team’s offense, which had only managed seven runs in the previous three games.
Yost guaranteed reporters before the game that Bloomquist would get “a couple of hits”.
“Crazy,” said Bloomquist as he nodded his head after the game. “Who knew?”
It was his third home run of the season and only the 13th of his career. But he knew it was gone when he hit it.
“I don’t hit too many, but I thought I got all of it,” Bloomquist said. “That’s probably as far as I can hit a ball.”
Bloomquist, who plays all three outfield and all four infield positions, was stationed at third on Wednesday and started a key double play on Gerald Laird’s(notes) grounder with one out and runners on first and second in the 11th.
“I have a hard time thinking of two other players that are as good as Willie at that position, where you can play him anywhere and feel comfortable as if you had your starter out there,” Yost said. “Third, short, second, left, right, center, first base. He knows how to play the game. He knows how to hit. He knows when to take advantage of situations. I just think he’s a great player for what he does.”
“The first couple of games here we got it handed to us,” Humber said. “And we were down today. But we came back and won.”
Alfredo Figaro (0-1) surrendered Bloomquist’s home run and took the loss.
“It was a game that we had in hand, we just let it get away,” Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland said.
Ryan Perry(notes) allowed Mike Aviles’(notes) leadoff single in the eighth before getting the next two batters. Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde(notes) replaced Perry and, after Aviles stole second, gave up Ka’aihue’s run-scoring double into the right-field corner. Brayan Pena(notes) followed with a double over Austin Jackson’s(notes) head to tie the game at 3.
Valverde’s streak of 24 consecutive save opportunities converted was snapped.
Detroit took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Santiago’s two-run triple with one out scored Brennan Boesch(notes) and Ryan Raburn(notes). Boesch led off with a double and Raburn singled. Santiago scored when Gerald Laird followed with a RBI double.
Galarraga allowed a run on five hits in 6 1-3 innings, walking two and striking out four.
Notes: Detroit’s Jackson led off the game with an infield single. It was the sixth consecutive contest he reached base leading off a game. … Ka’aihue made a nice backhand stab to his right at first on Ryan Raburn’s low one-hop liner with two out in the bottom of the eighth with the score tied 3-3 and Miguel Cabrera(notes) on second base. … Cabrera made a diving stab to his left at first on a liner by Jai Miller(notes), who led off the top of the ninth.