The Tigers weren't on their game Tuesday night. Mike Maroth pitched well, but certainly wasn't dominating. The Tiger offense was stifled by Royals starter Jimmy Gobble. And in yet another sign of how different this team is from last years, come the top of the 9th, the Tigers were right in the game.
Down 4-2 going into the 9th, Chris Shelton singled and Alex Sanchez doubled to get the tying run into scoring position. Carlos Guillen then drove in a run on what appeared to be an RBI groundout, but a dropped ball by Ken Harvey allowed Guillen to reach, putting runners on the corners with only one out, with Ivan Rodriguez at the plate. A slow grounder to the left side of the infield appeared to tie the game as Rodriguez beat out the Royals attempt to turn a double play and end the game. However, 2nd Base Umpire C.B. Bucknor called Rodriguez out due to supposed interference by Guillen, and thus the game was over, Royals win.
Maroth took the loss to fall to 4-3 on the year, after pitching 7 innings allowing 3 runs. Gobble matched the performance, going 6 2/3 innings with 2 runs earned. Jason Grimsley got the final out of the 7th inning to earn the win for the Royals. Jeremy Affledt, despite an obviously rocky 9th, got his first save of the year.
For the Tigers at the plate, Sanchez had 3 hits and an RBI. Craig Monroe had a pair of hits as well, along with a run scored and an Outfield Assist - throwing out Harvey when he tried to score off a double from Benito Santiago in the 3rd.
The Tigers are back to 2 games below .500, never seeming to be able to crawl above the mark and stay there for more than a day or so. Game 2 of the series takes place Wednesday night, also an 8:10 start time. Gary Knotts is on the hill for the Tigers, going up against Darrell May.