For as bad as Kyle Davies was yesterday, Bruce Chen was equally as good today on the mound as the Kansas City Royals toughed their way out to a 3-1 victory this afternoon over the Detroit Tigers. Chen went 6.0 innings on the mound, giving up just three hits and no runs. In addition he struck out seven Tigers while walking just one to pick up his first win of the year.
Kansas City puts up two runs in the second inning off Detroit starter Phil Coke, courtesy of a Wilson Betemit single, and Alcides Escobar who grounded into a force out with the bases loaded.
Coke was solid as well in his start, pitching 6.2 innings and giving up two runs on three hits. He also struck out seven, while walking four.
Detroit put up their first scoring threat of the day, when with Will Ryhmes on second base, Magglio Ordonez laced a liner towards the left-field line. Alex Gordon relayed a throw to Escobar who was able to get it to catcher Brayan Pena to tag Ryhmes at the plate trying to score.
The Tigers then had the bases loaded against reliever Tim Collins, before Robinson Tejeda came in and got Ordonez to pop-up on the first pitch to Chris Getz to move the game to ninth inning with the Royals holding a 2-0 lead.
Kansas City added an insurance run in the ninth when Jeff Francoeur hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded off Brad Thomas to score Gordon and make it 3-0.
Joakim Soria came in to close out the ninth for Kansas City and pick up his second save on the season. He also picked up his first strikeout of the season, throwing an offspeed swinging strike to Miguel Cabrera. Ryan Rayburn them homered to left off Soria, when Jhonny Peralta flied out to center to end the game as Kansas City moved to 5-3. Detroit fell to 3-5.
The rubber game will take place tomorrow at 12:05 as Luke Hochevar will face Rick Porcello. Kansas City currently sits .5 games out of first in the American League Central Division, though first place Cleveland is at Seattle later tonight.