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Tigers fall in 13, waste great outing by Zimmermann

June 19, 2016 GMT

Kansas City, Mo. – Just what the Tigers needed on the final day of a grueling 10-game, three-city road triple -- thirteen innings on another steamy day.

It promised to be a long and quiet plane ride home Sunday.

In the bottom of the 13th, Cheslor Cuthbert singled through a drawn in infield off Kyle Ryan, giving the Royals a 2-1 win. The Tigers finish the trip with a 4-6 record.

Salvador Perez opened the inning with a single. Lorenzo Cain ran for him. Miguel Cabrera missed a well-thrown pickoff attempt, allowing Cain to take second. After a sacrifice bunt by Paulo Orlando, the Tigers walked Brett Eibner intentionally to load the bases and set up a force play.

This one had been ripe for the taking.

It started with Jordan Zimmermann giving the Tigers exactly what they needed – eight strong innings.

After that they got scoreless innings out of Justin Wilson and Shane Greene and two impressive innings from just called-up Bruce Rondon. After giving up 26 runs the last two nights, they limited the free-swinging Royals to a single run in 12 innings.

But the Royals bullpen matched them out for out.

BOX SCORE: Royals 2, Tigers 1 (13 innings)

With the bullpen shell-shocked and discombobulated, the Tigers needed an extended stay from Zimmermann and he provided it. He held the Royals in check and did so with maximum efficiency.

He needed only 93 pitches to breeze through eight innings. He allowed one run and four hits, with 12 ground ball outs, five strikeouts and no walks.

It was a masterful performance.

He essentially made two mistakes, both with his slider. He spun one to Alcides Escobar in the first inning and he smacked it for a double. Nothing came of that one, though.

In the fifth, after Kendrys Morales singled, Zimmermann hung another slider, this one to Paulo Orlando who hit it off the fence in left field, moving Morales to third. He scored on Brett Eibner’s ground out, tying the game, 1-1.

He retired the last 11 Royals he faced.

Once again, though, the Tigers’ bats were baffled by Royals’ soft-tossing right-hander Chris Young. He has struggled this season, posting a 6.15 ERA, and he hadn’t gotten through five innings in any of his four previous starts.

But the Tigers are his tonic. He came in with a 4-0 record and 1.71 ERA in six starts against them. This one was more of the same.

He essentially made one mistake in six innings. Steven Moya ambushed a first-pitch fastball leading off the third inning and hit it 442 feet beyond the bullpen and into the bleachers in right field.

It was Moya’s first Major League home run. The Tigers were able to retrieve the ball for him.

But that was all the damage Young allowed. He struck out seven in six innings and allowed only one other runner to second base.

The Tigers went meekly against a trio of relievers – Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera (struck out the side) and Wade Davis – from the seventh through the ninth.

Moya, who had three of the Tigers’ four hits, singled off Peter Moylan in the 10th. It was just the second Tigers hit since the third inning.

That was the only hit they got off Moylan in 2.1 innings. Chien-Ming Wang retired Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos in the 11th.

Twitter @cmccosky