Detroit 4, Kansas City 3
When: 1:08 PM ET, Monday, March 31, 2014
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Jerry Meals, 1B -
Paul Emmel, 2B -
Chris Conroy, 3B -
Tigers 4, Royals 3:
Alex Gonzalez lined a run-scoring single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as Detroit edged Kansas City.
Alex Avila drew a one-out walk against Wade Davis (0-1) and Nick Castellanos singled pinch-runner Tyler Collins to third. Greg Holland entered for the Royals and Gonzalez drilled his fourth pitch past the lunge of shortstop Alcides Escobar for the seventh game-winning hit of his career to make a winner out of Joe Nathan (1-0).
Salvador Perez went 4-of-4 with two doubles and one RBI for Kansas City, which scored all three runs off Detroit ace Justin Verlander in the fourth inning. Verlander struck out only two in six innings and gave up six hits and three walks while Kansas City starter James Shields was charged with three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Detroit pushed across two runs in the seventh to tie the score at three as Austin Jackson tripled and scored when Aaron Crow threw a wild pitch while striking out Castellanos. Gonzalez added an RBI triple into the left-center gap later in the inning.
Victor Martinez lined a leadoff homer to right in the second to give Detroit an early lead. Kansas City tied the game on Perez’s double in the fourth, moved ahead on Lorenzo Cain’s single to left and added another when Omar Infante drew a bases-loaded walk.GAME NOTEBOOK:
Perez is the fourth Kansas City player to get four hits on Opening Day, joining Lou Piniella (1969), Amos Otis (1977) and Freddie Patek (1979). … Only two of Kansas City’s three runs were earned against Verlander, who tossed 20 scoreless innings during spring training. … The Royals scored on Opening Day for the first time since 2011 – Kansas City was blanked each of the last two seasons – while losing their sixth straight opener.
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