April behind them, the Detroit Tigers kicked off the month of May with a much-needed homestand victory. Jim Leyland and crew defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-3 at Comerica Park following Monday's rain out, which shortened the series to two games. The game will be made up September 24.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Tigers at home behind an outstanding effort by Rick Porcello. The Tigers' 23-year-old starter won his second game of the season and evened his overall record at 2-2. He is now 5-2 lifetime against the Royals and 11-4 in the month of April.
Porcello's sinker led to eight effective innings on the mound, striking out three and inducing 14 ground-ball outs. Porcello didn't allow a walk and was in command of the strike zone throughout the night, never needing more than 16 pitches in any one inning to finish off the opposition.
The maturing Porcello's only real nemesis on the night was the Royals' talented outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who nabbed three hits on the night. Jarrod Dyson also drove a shot deep to the right-center gap that nearly led to an inside-the-park home run for the Royals, but he was held up at third and didn't challenge a play at the plate.
The Tigers are now a perfect 4-0 against the Royals this season.
Porcello got plenty of help from the Tigers offense which produced 14 hits and plated nine runs. The Tigers jumped on K.C.'s Luke Hochevar and chased the Royals starter from the game in the fourth inning.
Austin Jackson went 4-for-5 at the dish, including a double, stolen base, and two RBI. Jackson continues to be the catalyst of the Tigers offense. It was Jackson's third four-hit game of the season, while Miguel Cabrera, Andy Dirks and Jhonny Peralta each chipped in two hits. Peralta also had two RBI and Cabrera and Dirks both mashed doubles in a powerful Detroit hitting attack.
Injured Tigers star Victor Martinez was in the clubhouse and on the bench for the game, and may have helped spark the resurgence of a Detroit offense that has been relatively quiet. Martinez is aiming for a September return from his knee injury.
Porcello also received some assistance via multiple spectacular defensive plays by Prince Fielder and Don Kelly, who sparkled in the field and at the plate for in Detroit's Tuesday night victory.
Jackson also made a brilliant play late in the game, robbing a home run and forcing a ground-rule double instead by reaching over the fence to make an amazing snatch.
A strange play that Tigers manager Jim Leyland argued, and appeared could have been called an out. The deep fly bounced off the padded yellow top rail of the left-center fence, and then up and over at an angle that allowed Jackson to snatch it from beyond the fence and bring it back into play.
Unfortunately, Dirks had to exit the game following his double in the bottom of the fourth when it appeared he tweaked an already existing hamstring issue.
The Tigers are now 12-11 on the season, and the Royals fall to 6-16.
Detroit will finish up the shortened series with a Wednesday matinée featuring Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who will seek his third win of the season in six starts. The Royals will run out Jonathan Sanchez who sports a 6.75 ERA and is 1-1 on the season.
The Chicago White Sox will open a weekend series in the Motor City on Friday following Thursday's scheduled day off.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist J. Cook is a member of B/R's MLB Coverage Team and contributes to B/R's MLB content and Detroit Tigers page. He also covers key sport interest stories for all of Detroit's major sports teams.
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