Perez goes deep as Royals fall to Tigers

Perez goes deep as Royals fall to Tigers

Perez goes deep as Royals fall to Tigers
DETROIT -- There are many benefits to hosting an All-Star Game. But one of the few drawbacks for the Royals was being forced to embark on an 11-game road trip to end the season's first half.

It turned out to be a very unsuccessful trip as the Royals dropped their third straight with Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Kansas City went 3-8 on the trip and sits 10 games below .500 entering the break.

Royal pitchers were stung by the long ball in the entire three-game series, as they allowed three in the first five innings on Sunday.

Meanhwile, Tigers starter Max Scherzer was able to hold an inconsistent Kansas City offense to five hits in seven innings, while walking one and striking out seven.

"The trip was really disappointing for us," manager Ned Yost said. "We came in [to the trip] in great shape just four games out of first [in the American League Central]. It's definitely not where we wanted to finish the first half."

Royals starter Everett Teaford (1-2) was coming off an impressive seven-inning start and his first win earlier in the week in Toronto. Sunday was a struggle, as Teaford allowed seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He also gave up two long homers to Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young.

The Tigers started inflicting damage with two out in the second inning. Brennan Boesch, getting his first start of the series, lined a sharp single to right. Then, Teaford "overthrew a changeup" in his words to Peralta that resulted in a towering 380-foot homer just inside the left-field foul pole for a 2-0 Detroit lead.

Teaford was able to navigate past a two-out Miguel Cabrera double in the third by getting Prince Fielder to fly out to left. But Young led off the fourth with a 430-foot homer to right-center on a fastball that caught too much of the plate. It was Young's fourth home run in as many days.

"I left a fastball up to Peralta and he's a good high-ball hitter," Teaford said. "I have to give my teammates a better chance to win by going deeper in the game.

"To be honest, I feel like I didn't really pitch that well against the Blue Jays, and that I'm not doing what I need to be in getting ahead of guys in the count," Teaford said. "I am my toughest critic, but I do need to be able to locate my pitches better."

Teaford missed on the pitches to Peralta and Young, but looked sharp at other points during his 80-pitch outing. The last batter he faced, following consecutive singles, was a swinging strikeout of Cabrera.

"[Teaford] made some good pitches tonight, but he has to keep the ball down, especially to right-handed hitters," said Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Yost elected to pull Teaford after that strikeout with runners at the corners and one out. Lefty Tim Collins came on to face Fielder with disastrous results, as Fielder hit the first pitch -- a 92-mph fastball -- deep into the seats in right field for a three-run bomb and a 6-1 Detroit lead.

Having managed Fielder in Milwaukee, Yost felt like the matchup with Collins was a better one.

"I think Timmy has more [in his arsenal] to get him out in that instance with a good breaking ball and change," Yost said. "[Collins] would give him a different look, but we never got there because he threw a fastball down the middle on the first pitch."

Following the home run, Collins struck out four of the next five batters. But the damage had been done.

On the other side, Scherzer (8-5) was having a relatively stress-free outing. In the Royals' half of the third, Perez displayed some of his raw power when he muscled up on a fastball and drove it nearly 370 feet to the opposite field for his fourth homer of the season.

"I was just looking to get a good pitch to hit and drive the ball," Perez said. "I went with that one."

Kansas City didn't put together its first true offensive threat until the fifth inning. Jeff Francoeur singled and a two-out double by Alex Gordon put the Royals in business. But Scherzer got Alcides Escobar to chase a 98-mph fastball down and in to end the opportunity.

"Today [Scherzer] gave us a different look," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "He was starting guys off with his offspeed stuff and then pumping in good fastballs at two strikes. He had really good movement."

"[Scherzer] was really good tonight. That's the best we had seen him in the last two or three outings," Yost said. "He was throwing 96 all day and had good run on his fastball."

Peralta collected three hits and three RBIs, while Young, Boesch and Berry all had two hits as part of a 12-hit attack for the Tigers.

Yost said the All-Star break always comes at a good time given the long grid of the regular season.

"We're not swinging the bats really well right now," he said. "We'll get a few days off and come back and regroup."

Mike Scott is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.