Monday, April 09, 2007

Rodriguez's Shot Lifts the Tigers

Game Date: April 8, 2007
Tigers 3, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Rodney (1-1) LP: Riske (0-1) SV: Jones (3)
Royal Home Runs: Mark Teahen (1)
Royals Record: 2-4

After our bullpen blew 31 saves last season, you think we'd get used to losing in such heartbreaking fashions, but the fact that it's still heartbreaking tells you that's not true. But let's back up a little.

Brandon Duckworth was outstanding in his 6.1 innings of work. He gave up just four hits and one walk. He was keeping the ball down and at one point he got 11 straight Tigers out.

Meanwhile, the Royals built a 2-0 lead thanks to Mark Teahen who always hits Jeremy Bonderman well. Teahen hit a solo home run in the first and he drove in a run in the third. The lead held up behind Duckworth, Jimmy Gobble, and Joakim Soria, but then the wheels came off in the ninth.

Riske gave up a double to Magglio Ordonez and a walk to Carlos Guillen (nearly always the kiss of death late in a close ball game) to set the stage for Ivan Rodriguez. Riske thought that Rodriguez would put down a sacrifice bunt since there weren't any outs in the inning, so he grooved a four-seamer and Rodriguez jumped all over it and knocked it over the left-center field wall.

Todd Jones came in and nailed down another save.

Blown saves are going to happen from time to time, and we have a number of positives to take from this game--the first of which is our number five starter shut down the Tigers. Our middle relievers did their job. And we played steady defense. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough.

Tonight, the Royals begin a new series in Toronto. Odalis Perez (0-1, 6.75 ERA) goes against A.J. Burnett (0-1, 27.00).

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