Kansas City was once again mastered by Detroit pitching on Saturday afternoon as the Tigers defeated the Royals 3-0. The loss was Kansas City's first shut-out of 2011 at the plate.
Coming into the series leading the American League in runs scored, the Royals have only been able to post one run in two games as Brad Penny allowed just five Royals hits on the day, while striking out two and giving up no walks. The closest Kansas City came to scoring all day was in the seventh inning when Jeff Francoeur doubled with one out and advanced to third on an Eric Hosmer ground out. However Wilson Betemit flew out to end the threat. Francoeur was the only Royals player to reach base twice as he also walked in the ninth against closer Jose Valverde.
Jeff Francis bounced back from some recent struggles and took a hard-luck loss falling to 0-5 on the season. After wavering in the first, he finished strong, tossing a complete game. Francis finished the day with three runs allowed on seven hits. He struck out four and walked one.
The Tigers scored three in the the first inning fueled by five singles, as Penny improved to 4-3, while Valverde picked up his 10th save. Detroit improved to 22-18, while Kansas City now sits at 20-19. The series wraps up tomorrow with Kyle Davies (1-5 7.08) facing Max Scherzer (6-0 3.20). Game time is 12:05 CST.
The Central Division standings still have Cleveland leading the pack, with Detroit in second place and 3.5 games back. Kansas City sits in third, currently five games back in the race.