It wasn't the outcome Royals fans were looking for on Friday evening, but still many positives can be taken from the 4-3 10-inning loss to the Tigers, as Felipe Paulino gutted out a tough start to the ballgame and gave the Royals 6.2 innings, while rookie second basemen Johnny Giavotella shined in his major league debut going 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk and an RBI.
After Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch opened the game with back-to-back triples followed by a Magglio Ordonez sac fly, Detroit held a quick 2-0 lead before many Kansas City fans had found their seats.
However Royals pitcher Paulino was able to settle down as he would end the evening with three runs allowed on six hits. The Dominican right-hander would strike out seven while walking just two. The additional run charged to Paulino came in the fifth inning on a home run to centerfield off the bat of catcher Alex Avilla, his 13th of the year.
Other positives taken from the defeat was the hitting of Johnny Giavotella who looked poised at the plate and didn't seem phased by facing baseball's top level. He was a key cog of the late Royals rally in the seventh inning in which they tied the ballgame at three. With two runners on, Gio singled to right to drive in Billy Butler for the first Kansas City run of the evening. Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar would both pick up RBI's as well as the six-seven-and eighth hitters in the order were the players driving in the runs during the game.
When the game went to the tenth frame, Aaron Crow ran into trouble as he was able to get just one out during his outing as Detroit took the lead on a Boesch RBI single. Greg Holland would enter to keep the Royals within reach but the damage had been done. Jose Valverde came out for the the bottom of the 10th and picked up his 31st save. He is perfect in save situations this season.
Though it was a loss it was fun to see the future of the Royals on the field together and it should be fun to watch the continued growth throughout the remaining portion of the season.