Pudge Goes Yard, Tigers Win

By: AP
By: AP

DETROIT (AP) -- Seven months later, the Detroit Tigers managed to beat the Kansas City Royals.

Ivan Rodriguez had a grand slam and six RBIs to back Justin Verlander's first win of the season in the Tigers' 12-5 victory over the Royals on Monday night.

Carlos Guillen had four RBIs for the Tigers, who were swept by last-place Kansas City on the final weekend of last season, costing Detroit the AL Central title. As a wild-card team, Detroit beat the New York Yankees and Oakland in the playoffs, advancing to its first World Series since 1984 before losing in five games to St. Louis.

After the Tigers loaded the bases on a single and two walks in the first against Zack Greinke (1-2), Rodriguez fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before driving a 1-2 offering over the wall in right-center. It was the sixth career slam for Rodriguez, a drive estimated at 423 feet. He added a two-run double in the second off Jason Standridge that put the Tigers ahead 7-2.

Detroit has three slams in 13 games -- Curtis Granderson hit one on April 4 against Toronto and Craig Monroe had one in Baltimore on April 11. There was one grand slam in the entire National League entering Monday.

Verlander (1-0) had not allowed any earned runs in 13 innings coming in but didn't get a decision in his first two starts. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, struck out six and walked none.

Greinke, who had been 6-0 in his prior eight starts against the Tigers, lasted just two-thirds of an inning, the shortest of his 60 major league starts.

Kansas City did close to 4-2 in the second on RBI doubles by Emil Brown and John Buck, but Tony Pena Jr. misplayed Magglio Ordonez's potential double-play grounder to shortstop in the bottom half as Placido Polanco scored, and Rodriguez's double put the Tigers ahead by five.

Polanco's liner in the third hit off the heel of Mark Teahen's glove in right, allowing Tigers to add an eighth run, and Guillen led off the fourth with a 438-foot homer to right-center.

Kansas City cut the gap on David DeJesus' RBI single in the fifth, and Ryan Shealy's two-run homer off Jose Mesa in the seventh. Guillen hit a three-run double in the eighth against Jimmy Gobble.


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