Chris Young struck out nine in five no- hit innings and the Kansas City Royals held off the Detroit Tigers 4-1 to win their second straight to begin a four-game series.
Young (2-0) made his first start of the season for the suspended Edinson Volquez and made his claim to be a full-time starter. He allowed just three baserunners on three walks and left after throwing 81 pitches, giving way to Ryan Madson, who didn’t allow a hit over two innings of relief.
“It wasn’t realistic tonight for me to go nine (innings),” said Young. “The last time I even went four was in a minor-league spring training game. I gave the best effort I could tonight.”
Kelvin Herrera entered in the eighth with a 4-0 lead and nearly imploded. After walking Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos got Detroit’s first hit of the game with a single to left and Jose Iglesias reached on an infield single to load the bases with no outs.
Anthony Gose made it 4-1 with an RBI ground out and Ian Kinsler drew a walk to reload the bags before Herrera fanned Miguel Cabrera and got Victor Martinez to fly out to left.
“We fought back,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “We had a shot there against one of the better relievers in the game in Herrera.”
Wade Davis put runners on the corners in the ninth before inducing a soft grounder back to the mound off the bat of Iglesias to record his fifth save.
Kyle Lobstein (2-2) was responsible for all four runs on 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings for the Tigers.
The Royals jumped all over Lobstein in the first inning, with Lorenzo Cain’s single to left jump-starting a two-out rally. Eric Hosmer surprised the defense by laying down a bunt single and Kendrys Morales plated both players with a double to right. Salvador Perez then singled home Morales.
Morales drove Hosmer in again in the third inning with a single to center for an early 4-0 cushion.\