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Tigers rough up no-show Duffy’s replacement for Royals

By Larry Lage
Associated Press
Kansas City Royals runner Whit Merrifield (15) is tagged out by Detroit Tigers catcher Austin Romine as he tries to score in the first inning of Tuesday's game in Detroit. The Royals failed to score after Merrifield's leadoff double and were blanked 6-0 by the Tigers.

DETROIT – Danny Duffy was a no-show.

His replacement didn’t fare a whole lot better.

Miguel Cabrera hit a homer and a double to help the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 6-0 on Tuesday night, halting the Royals’ six-game winning streak.

Jakob Junis (0-2) started for the Royals in place of Duffy, who missed the team's flight to Detroit. Junis gave up five runs and seven hits over 2 1/3 innings.

"It's different, but I'm definitely not going to blame that on what happened," Junis said. "Things happen, and you've got to adjust on the fly. When my name's called, I have a job to do."

Junis said he didn't notice Duffy was missing on the flight and was told about seven hours before the game on Tuesday that he was starting.

"These sort of things always happen," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "But it's definitely different than knowing you've got the ball and have four days to prepare."

Duffy was able to catch a later flight and joined the team in Detroit but sat out for disciplinary reasons.

Matthew Boyd (2-6) bounced back from a rough outing with a strong performance, throwing five-plus scoreless innings and giving up just two hits. Boyd allowed seven runs over three-plus innings in his previous start as Milwaukee beat Detroit 19-0 last week.

"Matty is one of our veterans so we expect that from him," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Detroit had lost three straight and 10 of its last 13. The rebuilding  Tigers (21-26) and last-place Royals (20-29) are the two teams in the AL Central with losing records, making developing prospects even more of a priority during the pandemic-shortened season.

"We're still in this thing," Boyd said. "Our goal is to play this all the way through."

Kansas City failed to capitalize on a good chance to score in the first inning when Whit Merrifield led off with a double and reached third on a stolen base with one out. Merrifield did not score on a play at the plate in which he did not slide after Salvador Perez hit a grounder to drawn-in shortstop Willi Castro and dropped his bat near the baseline.

Niko Goodrum, in his first at-bat after being on the 10-day injured list, hit an RBI single in the first. Jorge Bonifacio, released last year by Kansas City, followed with a two-run double to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

That was plenty of support for Boyd, who struck out five and walked four.

"It was awesome to get the bats going and have the guys do their thing, right from the get-go," Boyd said.

His 105-pitch outing ended with two on and two outs in the sixth and Edward Olivares hit into an inning-ending groundout.

"I feel stronger than I ever have," Boyd said.


Royals: IF Matt Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was sent to the alternate training site.

Tigers: C Grayson Greiner was optioned to the team's alternate training site and C Eric Haase was recalled from Toledo, Ohio.


Royals: RHP Matt Harvey left the game after the team's athletic trainer visited the mound in the sixth. Harvey struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up a homer, double and single.

Tigers: Infielder Jonathan Schoop was put on the the 10-day DL with a sprained right wrist.


Royals: Rookie Brady Singer (2-4) is scheduled to start Wednesday after not giving up a hit until there were two outs in the eighth inning against Cleveland last week.

Tigers: Rookie Tarik Skubal (1-2) is expected to be on the mound after giving up six runs over just two innings against St. Louis.