Isbel, Witt, Pratto, Melendez HRs power Royals past Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — Kyle Isbel hit his first grand slam, Bobby Witt Jr. added a three-run home run and the Kansas City Royals routed the Detroit Tigers 12-2 on Saturday night.
Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez also homered for the Royals. It’s the first time since at least 1906 that four first-year players on the same team have homered in the same game.
“We’re young, but it’s a really good group of guys,” Isbel said. “We’re excited for the future and we’re just going to keep getting better and getting after it every day.”
Nate Eaton had four hits and drove in two runs. Every player in the Kansas City lineup had at least one hit.
“It was a relentless offensive day,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The guys kept taking good at-bats inning after inning.”
Winning pitcher Jonathan Heasley (3-7) gave up two earned runs and eight hits, with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings.
Isbel, a 25-year-old outfielder, hit his grand slam over the wall in right field off Jason Foley in the fifth to give the Royals a 9-1 lead. The slam was Isbel’s fourth homer of the season and fifth of his two-year major league career.
“I hit it hard enough and it was high enough; I was just hoping it would stay fair,” he said.
Tucker Barnhart hit his first home run of the season for Detroit. Tigers starter Michael Pineda (2-7) allowed five runs and six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in four innings.
“They did a nice job offensively, but it starts with bad pitches,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Pratto gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead with his two-out homer in the first. The Tigers tied it in the second on Ryan Kreidler’s sacrifice fly, his first career RBI. Kreidler later added his first two major-league hits in his second career game.
Witt’s homer gave the Royals a 4-1 lead in the third. Melendez added an RBI single in the fifth to give Kansas City a four-run advantage.
“It’s a lot of fun seeing everyone contributing,” Witt said.
Royals rookie shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. reached the 20-20 mark for home runs and stolen bases. He’s the fifth first-year player in major league history to accomplish the feat and fifth Kansas City player to have a 20-20 season.
“I’m guessing it might be the last one you see because it will be in the 30s after this,” manager Mike Matheny said. “That’s the kind of player he is. He’s special.”
Witt Jr. had 33 homers and 29 stolen bases in the minor leagues last season.
“It’s always a goal. I was a stolen base short last year of 30-30,” he said. “It would be cool to do that in the big leagues.”
Royals: 1B Vinnie Pasquantino (right shoulder discomfort) began a rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Omaha. Pasquantino has been out of action since Aug. 22. ... C Salvador Perez (right hand contusion) was not in the lineup. He was hit by a pitch on Friday.
Tigers: DH Miguel Cabrera (biceps soreness) did not play and will be placed on the injured list, manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. However, it is not necessarily a season-ending injury. ... 2B Jonathan Schoop (right ankle sprain) began a rehab assignment with Single A West Michigan on Saturday. Schoop was injured on Aug. 20.
Royals: RHP Max Castillo (0-1, 2.81 ERA) will make his second start of the season for Kansas City on Sunday. Castillo, who has made 12 minor league starts this season, held Tampa Bay to one run in five innings in his Royals debut on Aug. 18.
Tigers: RHP Matt Manning (1-2, 3.79 ERA) will try to bounce back from his worst outing this season. Manning surrendered seven runs in 2 1/3 innings to Seattle on Tuesday. He pitched six scoreless innings against San Francisco in his previous start.
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