KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drew Smyly picked up where fellow Tigers starter Rick Porcello left off, tossing seven shutout innings and leading Detroit to a 9-2 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Porcello and the Tigers bullpen retired the final 18 hitters in an 8-2 victory the previous night, and Smyly (2-1) retired the first four he faced. After a issuing a walk to Alex Gordon, the former reliever then retired the next six in a dominant performance.
Smyly wound up allowing two hits and two walks before giving way to Joba Chamberlain, who threw a perfect eighth. Phil Coke allowed two runs in the ninth to lose the shutout.
Nick Castellanos drove in three runs the Tigers, the first off spot starter Danny Duffy (1-2) and two more off the Royals’ bullpen. That was it until the ninth, when Detroit tacked on six more runs, the highlight a three-run shot by Torii Hunter.
The win was the Tigers’ fifth straight over Kansas City.
Duffy moved from the bullpen back to the rotation in place of Bruce Chen, who went on the disabled list this week with a bulging disc in his back. Duffy was on a pitch count and wound up lasting just four innings, allowing two hits and walking four while throwing 75 pitches.
Kansas City played without catcher Salvador Perez, who was given the night off after fouling a pitch off his shin in the series opener. Royals manager Ned Yost said he expects the All-Star to be back in the lineup Sunday — though they sure could have used his bat in this one.
The only hits the Royals could muster off Smyly came on Eric Hosmer’s double in the fourth and a single in the fifth by Danny Valencia, who was thrown out trying to reach second.
Meanwhile, the Tigers took advantage of Duffy’s erratic ways.
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