Ninth-in­ning sac­ri­fice fly gives Roy­als a walk-off win

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bran­don Moss dou­bled off the wall in the ninth to score the ty­ing run, and Alex Gor­don drove him home with a sac­ri­fice fly to bail out closer Kelvin Her­rera and give the Kansas City Roy­als a 4-3 vic­tory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednes­day night.

Moss home­red in the third in­ning be­fore com­ing through against Tigers closer Justin Wil­son (3-4) in the ninth — shortly af­ter Mikie Mah­took's two-run shot off Her­rera had given Detroit the lead.

Moss went to third on the throw to the plate, and Gor­don sent a fly ball to cen­ter that was just deep enough to give him his sixth ca­reer walk-off RBI and the Roy­als a much-needed win.

They had lost the first two games of the se­ries and seven of eight over­all.

Ja­son Ham­mel and three Roy­als reliev­ers had suc­cess­fully ush­ered a 2-1 lead to Her­rera, who pro­ceeded to walk Vic­tor Martinez in the ninth. An­drew Romine came in to pinch run and swiped sec­ond base, but all that did was shorten his trot home when Mah­took went deep.

Her­rera (2-3) threw one more pitch be­fore sum­mon­ing the train­ing staff and leav­ing the game. There was no im­me­di­ate word on whether the Roy­als' closer was hurt.

Kevin McCarthy (1-0) got the fi­nal two outs to earn the win.

Justin Ver­lan­der scat­tered six hits and a walk over seven in­nings while strik­ing out eight, but he was in line for the loss af­ter Mike Mous­takas hit an RBI sin­gle in the sev­enth. Bruce Ron­don kept Detroit close with a score­less eighth be­fore Wil­son let things get away from him in the ninth.

Ver­lan­der re­tired the first seven bat­ters he faced. And af­ter Moss sent an 0-1 pitch off the foul pole in right for a ty­ing home run, Ver­lan­der pro­ceeded to breeze through the next cou­ple of in­nings.

He even helped him­self by pick­ing off Jorge Boni­fa­cio at sec­ond base to end the sixth.

But Ham­mel matched him in­ning-for-in­ning af­ter the first, when he gave up two sin­gles and Miguel Cabr­era drove in the game's first run. Ham­mel re­tired the next nine bat­ters he faced, then six more af­ter Ni­cholas Castel­lanos man­aged a sin­gle in the fourth.

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