Apparently not satisfied with two straight bludgeonings of the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers made it three in a row on Sunday afternoon, hammering out 16 hits and scoring nine runs en-route to a 9-4 series sweep.
Though offense would remain the word of the day, Justin Verlander's pitching was phenomenal, continuing a trend the Tigers had set from Friday night's series opener. Verlander was dominant early, keeping the Royals off the bases save for a few walks. Continuing upon his hot Saturday night, Nick Castellanos homered in the second, getting Verlander some early help.
Little did Verlander know it at the time, but the help was far from over. In the third, Torii Hunter continued upon his 11 game hitting streak, plating two more with an RBI single. In the fourth, the red hot Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 10 by doubling in two more and in the fifth, Alex Avila would club a two run home run for the second time in as many days. When the dust had settled from the middle innings, it was 7-0 Detroit, and Jason Vargas was chased.
With offensive support not a problem, Verlander continued to carve up the Royals, looking stronger through the middle innings, proof positive in the strikeouts he began to rack up. In the sixth, Billy Butler ended the no-hit bid with a two out single, and Kansas City found some life in the seventh scoring three runs. Detroit responded fast with more help from a two run Hunter single, making it 9-3.
Though the Royals scratched out a run against Al Alburquerque in the bottom of the ninth, the sweep that had already been long assumed came to fruition. Detroit finished off their Central Division road trip an impressive 6-1.
Top Tiger: Torii Hunter. Don't look now, but the streaky Hunter is coming back to life again for Detroit. It has been a spectacular road trip for the veteran right fielder, who added three more hits and three more RBI's to his rapidly growing totals. Hunter has hit safely in 11 consecutive games, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
Bungling Bengal: None. Very little to complain about for Detroit on Sunday, as the team got a sweep taken care of on the road. Any time that happens, there's no reason to call anybody out.
The Turning Point: Justin Verlander's entrance on the mound. Though Verlander's late inning mistakes made the game look closer than it was, for the most part on Sunday, Verlander was extraordinarily dominant, generating plenty of lazy swings from Kansas City's hitters.
Stat Of The Game: 42, the amount of total hits the Tigers put up in their series against the Royals. That goes with 26 runs the team scored in three games, as well. All in all, the Tigers raked against Kansas City pitching in impressive fashion, taking advantage of mild temperatures.
Quote To Note: "They give me the opportunities, I just try to take advantage of them." -Rajai Davis. With two stolen bases Sunday, Davis moved his season total to 11, which is good to tie for the American League lead. With the fast legs, Davis also quietly out-swiped any Tiger from 2013 already. The previous leader? Austin Jackson, who had a measly eight.
What's Next: The Tigers return home once again for seven games, kicking things off with a four game set against the Houston Astros starting on Monday night. Max Scherzer (3-1) will oppose Jarred Cosart (1-2) at 7:08 p.m.Al Alburquerque, Baseball, Billy Butler, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, MLB, Nick Castellanos, Rajai Davis, Torii Hunter