KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Paulo Orlando hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, as the Kansas City Royals rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Detroit 7-4 on Wednesday night, the Tigers’ ninth straight loss.
The Tigers are 4-22 in September and have been outscored 68-30 in the skid. The last time Detroit lost nine in a row was Sept. 1-9, 2005.
Orlando’s home run was his first since Sept. 19, 2016, going 117 at-bats between long balls.
Scott Alexander (5-4), the third Kansas City pitcher, picked up the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Drew VerHagen (0-3) gave up the home run to Orlando with Alcides Escobar, who had tripled, aboard.
The Royals padded their lead with a three-run eight, which was highlighted by a two-run double by Escobar. Whit Merrifield scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch by Chad Bell.
Royals right-hander Jason Hammel gave up three runs in the first three innings, but after James McCann’s run-producing double in the third, he did not allow another hit. He retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, giving up three runs and six hits over six innings.
Jeimer Candelario drove in the first two Detroit runs with singles in the first and third innings.
Melky Cabrera’s two-out single in the bottom of the third scored Merrifield and Alex Gordon, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 3-2.
Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann was pulled after 84 pitches and six innings, yielding two runs and four hits.
Mike Minor got the final two outs for his fourth save in six situations.
Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera, who has two herniated discs, said he will get a second opinion Monday in Miami. “I hope I can take care of this in the offseason, come back next year and try to play every day,” he said Wednesday. “I think I need to change a lot of things in the offseason so I can come here in better shape and not be hurt. I don’t want an injection because I don’t want to put a Band-Aid on my injury. There’s no reason to do that. Let’s do all the therapy I have to do and we’ll see.” He said he initially injured his back in spring training, lifting heavy weights. Cabrera is an 11-time All-Star selection and entered this season as a career .321 hitter with 446 HRs and 1,553 RBIs. In 130 games this season, he hit .249 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. “It’s a nightmare,” he said of the season.
ALL NINE ROMINE
Manager Brad Ausmus plans to play Andrew Romine in all nine positions in the Tigers’ finale Sunday at Minnesota. Romine has played every position but catcher in his career. He caught RHPs Anibal Sanchez and Buck Farmer bullpen sessions Wednesday. Sanchez is the probable Sunday starter. “That would be nice,” Romine said. “I’ve caught him plenty of times between innings. And he doesn’t throw 100. That’s the main thing.” The only other players to play all nine defensive positions in a major league game are Bert Campaneris, Kansas City Athletics, Sept. 8, 1965; Cesar Tovar, Minnesota Twins, Sept. 22, 1968; Scott Sheldon, Texas Rangers, Sept. 6, 2000; and Shane Halter, Tigers, Oct. 1, 2000. Halter had four hits, three RBIs and scored the winning run against the Twins. “I’m excited, to be part of history,” Romine said. “I’ll be the fifth one here pretty quick.”
TIGERS SIGN PEDRO’S SON
Pedro Martinez Jr., the son of the Hall of Fame pitcher, signed with the Tigers. Unlike his dad, the younger Martinez, who lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a third baseman.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris, who has walked 44 in 96 2/3 innings, will start the series finale.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy will take a 9-9 record into his final start of the year.