Detroit manager Jim Leyland came out to the mound to talk to his ace pitcher Justin Verlander who was trying to protect a one-run lead with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth. What he said was short and simple…but talk about pressure.
Leyland’s words to Verlander? “You’re going to get me fired.” Those words relayed by Verlander after his team’s 3-2 win over the Royals on Monday night. So Verlander went out and plunked Alcides Escobar to load the bases after the Tigers manager made the decision to go with the AL’s best pitcher no matter what.
Verlander recovered and struck out Alex Gordon with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning to hand the Royals their fifth loss. Verlander is now 14-2 lifetime against the Royals.
Kansas City lefty Danny Duffy kept his team in the game against this potent lineup. He allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking one in 6.1 innings. Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer and Brandon Inge added a two-run shot in the fifth for the Tigers only run.
Billy Butler singled in Alex Gordon who doubled to lead off the Royals first inning. Butler led off the ninth with a single and a pinch runner eventually scored adding the Royals other run.