Cole Ragans has career day as Kansas City Royals finish off a perfect homestand

In what was billed as a battle of American League aces, Kansas City Royals starter Cole Ragans was thrust into the spotlight.

Ragans, who entered with a 3.70 ERA this season, headlined Wednesday’s marquee against Tigers star Tarik Skubal at Kauffman Stadium.

And he put together a sensational performance.

Ragans was dominant throughout his start. He set a career-high with 12 strikeouts and took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning as the Royals won 8-3 on Wednesday.

Detroit looked overmatched all afternoon.

Ragans was aggressive in the strike zone and attacked early with precision. He primarily used his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. The heater topped out at 98 mph and registered 21 swings and 10 whiffs, per Baseball Savant.

The Tigers were held hitless until the sixth inning. Detroit outfielder Riley Greene snapped the no-hit bid with a single.

The base hit represented the lone offense against Ragans. He finished his scoreless start allowing just three walks alongside his dozen strikeouts.

The Royals offense added to their hot stretch. KC produced nine hits and got production throughout the lineup.

Catcher Freddy Fermin finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Royals outfielder Nelson Velázquez hit his fourth home run of the season.

Both players fueled the offense early. In the seventh inning, Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. aided a four-run outburst. His two-run double helped extend the Royals lead to six runs in the late stages.

The Tigers scored three runs against the Royals’ bullpen. Designated hitter Andy Ibáñez added a two-run double and Javier Báez produced an RBI single.

But KC had enough cushion and improved to 32-19. The Royals have now won six consecutive games.

Missed previous games of the series?

Game 1: Royals reach 30 wins as offense erupts in 8-3 victory

Game 2: Bobby Witt Jr. hits longest home run of his career in win

Here are more notables from Wednesday’s game:

Maikel Garcia continues hot streak

Garcia has found his stride atop the Royals lineup. Prior to Wednesday’s action, he entered hitting .359 (14-for-39) in his last nine games.

There were plenty of notable highlights. On Tuesday, Garcia registered two triples against the Tigers. He joined Royals Hall of Famer George Brett and Joe Randa as the only third basemen to have multiple triples in a game.

Garcia continued his recent surge in the fifth inning. He singled off Skubal to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Additionally, Garcia has now hit safely in 24 of his last 28 games after posting a .174 average to begin the season.

His numbers can be extrapolated even further.

Garcia has recorded 42 hits since April 19. He trails only Philadelphia Phillies slugger Alec Bohm (45) and San Diego Padres star Luis Arraez (43) in that span.

Royals finish with perfect homestand

The Royals have defended Kauffman Stadium this season. On Wednesday, KC added its 21st home victory in front of 15,004 fans.

During their six-game homestand, the Royals have outscored opponents 45-17 and swept the Tigers and Oakland Athletics.

It’s the second time in franchise history the Royals have produced two perfect homestands (minimum of six games) in the same year. The last time it happened was during the 1985 season.

Lastly, the Royals have won four of their last five series. KC is 14-6 in May, which is the most wins during the month since the 2017 campaign.

What’s next on the KC Royals’ schedule?

The Royals are off on Thursday. This weekend, KC will begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Royals right-hander Seth Lugo will start in Friday’s series opener. Lugo leads all American League pitchers with seven wins and a 1.79 ERA this season.

The Rays have not announced a starter ahead of the matchup. First pitch is set for 5:50 p.m. Central on Friday night.