Former Royal Johnny Damon went 2 for 5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs as he helped spark a six run, seventh inning as the Tigers beat the Royals on Opening Day 8-4, denying Zack Greinke his first win of the year.
The Royals bullpen totally collapsed in that seventh inning. Ramon Colon faced two batters giving up a walk and a single and both runners were charged to Colon. Robinson Tejada gave up three runs on three hits and Juan Cruz had to mop up the inning by allowing another run.
Greinke pitched well going six innings allowing two earned runs on six hits, while walking one. Things didn’t start out well in the first inning. Actually, they did, Greinke retired the first two batters he faced, including Damon on seven pitches. He then gave up two out double to Magglio Ordonez and a walked to Miguel Cabrera. Greinke got Carlos Guillen to pop up which nobody could track on the infield. The ball hit third basemen Willie Bloomquist’s glove near the pitcher’s mound allowing a run to score.
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a two run homer to left center in the bottom of the second and Billy Butler delivered a two run single in the fifth to put KC up 4-2 on Justin Verlander who is 9-2 against the Royals for his career.
Greinke escaped trouble in the sixth when the first three hitters reached base, but he got out of the jam with just one run allowed thanks to Bloomquist who made a diving stop behind the bag at third to get a force out, saving a sure RBI double.