Detroit Tigers’ bullpen sharp in 4-3 home win over Kansas City Royals

Tigers first baseman C.J. Cron catches a pop up during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday in Detroit. (AP photo)


AP Baseball Writer

DETROIT — Jonathan Schoop and Christin Stewart each hit two-run homers in the third inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night.

Whit Merrifield hit a three-run shot in the top of the third for the Royals, but the Tigers answered quickly and held on from there. Tyler Alexander (1-0) and four other relievers kept the Royals scoreless for the final six innings, with Joe Jimenez pitching the ninth for his third save.

There were a pair of blunders in the ninth on the same play when Detroit first baseman C.J. Cron dropped a popup hit by Adalberto Mondesi, but Mondesi rounded first too far and was thrown out.

Rony Garcia worked the first three innings for Detroit in his major league debut. The 22-year-old looked sharp until the third. That’s when Brett Phillips hit a grounder that bounced off Cron for an error — and when Garcia retrieved it, his throw to first sailed past for another error.

That play left runners on second and third with one out, and Merrifield followed with a drive to left that made it 3-0. Garcia recovered to strike out his final two hitters.

Kansas City starter Kyle Zimmer pitched two scoreless innings, then hit JaCoby Jones with a pitch to start the Detroit third. Tyler Zuber (0-1) relieved and allowed the homers to Schoop and Stewart.


Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t say much about the progress of top pitching prospect Casey Mize, who was left off the active roster to start the season.

“He’s fine. He’s doing great,” Gardenhire said when asked about Mize before Tuesday’s game. “Not allowed to talk about him. I get in trouble every time I do.”