After taking the first two of a three-game series, the Tigers dropped the final game to James Shields and the Royals 3-0 Wednesday night. The Tigers fall to 1 game behind thr Royals in the AL Central with 16 games to play.
The Tigers bats could not touch Shields, as he gave up a first inning single to Ian Kinsler, then retired every batter until a single by Torii Hunter in the seventh. Rick Porcello took a hard loss, only allowing two runs in 6 and 2/3rds. He struck out 4 of the first five he faced on his way to a seven strikeout night and gave up no walks.
Joakim Soria was reactivated prior to the game and pitched the ninth, allowing one run and one hit. His return should give the bullpen a much-needed boost, after Phil Coke went down with a muscle spasm in the eighth. Coke will be evaluated further on Friday after feeling pain while unsuccessfully attempting to field an Eric Hosmer bunt.
Umpiring crews delayed the start for 42 minutes due to rain, which picked up enough in the fourth to send some fans onto the concourses at CoPa. There were no further delays though.
The Tigers have 16 games remaining, all against AL Central opponents. They begin a three-game set against Cleveland at CoPa Friday night at 7:08 pm. David Price (13-11, 3.33) takes the mound for the Tigers versus Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 2.69) for the Tribe. Carrasco has 1 win against the Tigers and has appeared mostly in relief against them, giving up 2 and striking out 19 in 11 and 2/3rds. Price has faced the Indians once this season; on September first, he got the win, pitching 7 innings with 1 run allowed and 8 strikeouts.
Shortstop Jose Iglesias has been cleared for lower-body workouts by Dr. Thomas Clanton, and should be ready for the 2015 season, reports the Oakland Press. “It was the best possible outcome we could hope for,” said head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.
Chris Iott from MLive tweeted that “Ausmus hit Rajai Davis for Romine in ninth because Davis has faced Wade Davis and he liked his chances better than rookies’ chances there”. Other tweets from Iott included: “Tyler Collins was on deck for Romine in eighth. Ausmus said he would have hit if Avila had reached because he can tie it with one swing.” and “Ausmus said he didn’t PH for Don Kelly because he preferred a guy with experience to face Herrera in the eighth.”
On a final note, Matthew Mowery of the Oakland Press reports that Tigers potential Wild-Card Game and ALDS tickets go on sale next Wednesday at noon at tigers.com.