KC Royals reliever Chien-Ming Wang allowed a ninth insurance run that proved the difference in a 3-2 loss to Tigers on Wednesday night.
Wang entered the game in the top of the ninth with the Kansas City Royals trailing 2-0 following a tight pitching duel by starters Ian Kennedy and Jordan Zimmermann. Wang allowed three hits in the inning, including an RBI single to Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler to make the score 3-0.
The run proved costly when leftfielder Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez hit back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth before the rally died with the tying run in scoring position after Jarrod Dyson walked and stole second with two outs.
Wednesday’s contest was a strange role reversal between the Tigers and Royals offenses, with Detroit chipping away with soft singles and the KC Royals countering with home runs. The Royals also wasted a third strong start in a row from free-agent signee Ian Kennedy, who sports a 1.35 ERA despite the loss.
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Catcher Salvador Perez is red hot at the plate, hitting both a double and a home run in his second straight game. Perez is on his way toward becoming the first true slugger in more than a generation for the Kansas City Royals. If Perez is still available in your league, grab him. If he’s on your roster, play him. He’s seeing the ball very well right now.
Jarrod Dyson stole his first base of the 2016 season after taking a walk in the ninth inning. If Dyson can continue to get on base, he will win regular playing time in right and is a threat to league the American League in steals. If you’re playing in a traditional, category-driven Rotisserie league Dyson could be a valuable pickup.
Detroit catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is playing in Detroit due to young backstop James McCann’s injury. However, Saltalamacchia has hit so well as a regular he might win the job. The 30-year-old Saltalamacchia, who is a former heralded prospect that has not been able to win a full-time job, entered the season as a backup. He’s hitting .313/.405/.875 with five home runs and currently leads the AL with 14 RBIs. If he’s still available in your league, grab him.
KEY PITCHING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Ian Kennedy: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, (L, 2-1)
Jordan Zimmermann: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (W, 3-0)
Francisco Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, SV (4)
KEY HITTING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Salvador Perez: 3-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR (2), 1 BB, 1 RBI
Alex Gordon: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Ian Kinsler: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI