Vargas Strong but Royals Fall 2-1 to Tigers in 10
DETROIT (AP) - Under last year's rules, the Kansas City Royals would have had men on first and third with two out in the 10th inning of a tie game.
Instead, their rally ended after a replay review - but that was OK with manager Ned Yost.
"That's exactly why the system is there - to get the call right," Yost said.
The Royals ended up losing 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday when Ian Kinsler hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. The game included two replay reviews - both of which were overturned in Detroit's favor.
Kansas City tied it in the ninth against Tigers closer Joe Nathan, but Tim Collins (0-1) walked Austin Jackson and Nick Castellanos before allowing Kinsler's two-out single.
"Obviously, you don't want to walk the first guy, because then you are pitching uphill. I just couldn't find the plate today - I had no command," Collins said. "Kinsler's a great hitter, and he hit a good pitch, but I would have been awfully lucky to get out of that inning after walking those two guys."
Kinsler also homered in the fourth.
Max Scherzer pitched eight scoreless innings for the Tigers, allowing four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. But Nathan blew his first save chance with Detroit after signing with the Tigers in the offseason.
Alex Gordon's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth tied it.
In the 10th, Kansas City's Norichika Aoki was called safe at first, and it looked like the Royals would have two on against Al Alburquerque (1-0). But upon further review, the throw barely beat Aoki. He was called out to end the threat.
There was another replay overturn in the sixth when Detroit's Tyler Collins was initially called out at first, giving Kansas City a 4-6-3 double play. The play was reviewed and Collins was ruled safe, although Detroit didn't score that inning.
Scherzer can become a free agent after this season, and if he keeps pitching like this he'll be in line for quite a payday. With men on first and third and one out in the first, Billy Butler grounded into a double play on a 3-0 pitch.
"I thought he was swinging there 3-0," Scherzer said. "I knew it was an early part of the game. I was throwing a fastball. He knew I was throwing a fastball, so I thought there was a chance he was swinging. So I knew we needed to get it away. Fortunately enough, he was able to roll it over. That was a huge play. I was kind of on the ropes there."
That turned out to be the best chance Kansas City would have against Scherzer. He wasn't in trouble again until the eighth, when Salvador Perez doubled leading off.
Scherzer rebounded to strike out Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain. Alcides Escobar followed with a flyout on Scherzer's 110th and final pitch.
Jason Vargas, who signed a $32 million, four-year contract in the offseason, was sharp in his first start for Kansas City. He allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out six.
"He was great," Yost said. "That's a really good offense, and the only thing they got off him was Kinsler hitting a great pitch. I'll take that kind of pitching performance every game right now."