Tigers rout Royals be­hind Zim­mer­mann, homers

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -

TIGERS 10, ROYALS 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nicholas Castel­lanos and Mikie Mah­took went deep, Jor­dan Zim­mer­mann smoth­ered the Royals with strikes and the Detroit Tigers pro­ceeded to trounce Kansas City 10-2 to open a four-game se­ries Mon­day night.

Ian Kinsler added three ex­tra-base hits for the Tigers, who knocked Amer­i­can League wins leader Ja­son Var­gas (12-4) from the game af­ter 2 2/3 in­nings in his first start since the All-Star break.

Zim­mer­mann (6-7) al­lowed one run and seven hits without a walk in 62/3 in­nings, throw­ing 79 of 97 pitches for strikes. His dom­i­nance was partly a re­sult of first-pitch strikes to 24 of the 28 bat­ters he faced, which helped the right-han­der win for the first time since June 3.

Seem­ingly the only pitch Zim­mer­mann threw that wasn't a strike hit Royals short­stop Al­cides Es­co­bar on the left wrist in the sev­enth in­ning. Es­co­bar was forced to leave the game.

Eric Hos­mer home­red in the eighth for Kansas City. Whit Mer­ri­field also drove in a run.

Things went awry for Var­gas from the first pitch, which Kinsler swat­ted to the fence for a dou­ble. Var­gas pro­ceeded to match a sea­son high with four walks, Kinsler added a pair of triples off him, and the homers by Castel­lanos and Mah­took com­bined to go nearly 900 feet.

The dis­mal per­for­mance came af­ter Var­gas was bat­tered for six runs — in­clud­ing three homers — on eight hits and a walk in five in­nings at Seat­tle in his fi­nal start be­fore the All-Star break.

Var­gas did toss a shutout in­ning dur­ing last week's Mid­sum­mer Clas­sic.

It was Zim­mer­mann who looked like an All-Star on Mon­day night, though — not some­one who had al­lowed at least four runs each of his last three starts, and was 0-4 with a 6.99 ERA on the road.

Zim­mer­mann breezed through a per­fect first, bounced back from back-to-back sin­gles to es­cape trou­ble in the sec­ond, then be­gan pound­ing the strike zone. By the time he hit the 50-pitch mark, Zim­mer­mann threw 44 of them for strikes, and he wound up with only four two-ball counts in the game.

NA­TIONAL LEAGUE CAR­DI­NALS 6, METS 3

Paul DeJong home­red against the New York Mets for the fourth straight game and Adam Wain­wright hit an RBI dou­ble while win­ning his fourth con­sec­u­tive start, send­ing the St. Louis Car­di­nals to a vic­tory. With run­ners at the cor­ners in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning, slug­ger Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes grounded into a game-end­ing dou­ble play on a 3-0 pitch from Brett Ce­cil.

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