Detroit, MI (WKZO) – In the first game of an unusual five game series the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1.
Anibal Sanchez allowed a run in the top of the first inning and then shut down the Royals, setting down nine of the final 10 batters he faced and picked up his 11th win of the year. Sanchez finished with five strikeouts while giving up seven hits and one walk over 7 1/3 innings of work.
While the Royals scored first their lead was short lived. With a runner on and two down in the bottom half of the first, Prince Fielder blasted a pitch off Royals’ starter Jeremy Guthrie over the scoreboard on the right center field wall for his 18th home run of the year. Fielder’s home run was first in over three weeks.
The Tigers added on two more runs in the fifth on back-to-back RBI singles from Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera.
After recording five outs against Chicago the night before Joaquin Benoit picked up back-to-back saves allowing just a walk for his 16th save of the year.
Andy Dirks had two doubles, two singles and scored two runs.
The Tigers and Royals will play a double header on Friday. The first game will start at 1:08 with Justin Verlander (12-8, 3.57 ERA) and Danny Duffy (0-0, 4.91) getting the start. The second game will start at 7:08 with Jose Alvarez (1-2, 5.03) and James Shields taking the mound.
The Tigers will play 14 of their next 17 games at Comerica Park.