Salvador Perez homer propels Kansas City Royals past Detroit Tigers

By Alan Eskew, The Sports Xchange
Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Michael Fulmer's scoreless inning streak ended abruptly, while Salvador Perez continued his torrid stretch.

Perez homered in the sixth inning to snap Fulmer's scoreless streak at 33 1/3 innings as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 10-3 on Friday night.


Perez hit a hanging slider on the first pitch over the Royals' left-field bullpen to snap a scoreless deadlock. It was Perez's third home run in four games and fifth in eight games.

"My third at bat (Fulmer) left a slider up and I got it pretty good," Perez said.

Good enough to snap Fulmer's amazing streak.

Perez, who is hitting .406 in his past 18 games, also contributed a two-run double in a four-run seventh, giving him eight RBIs in the past four games. Eric Hosmer and Paulo Orlando each had run-producing singles in the inning.


Fulmer (7-2) had not allowed a run in his previous four starts. His consecutive inning scoreless streak is the longest by a rookie since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"The scoreless streak, it was nice and everything, but my ultimate goal is it's a team game, to get a team 'w' and unfortunately I wasn't good enough to do it tonight," Fulmer said. "My goal is to put zeroes up every inning. I'm hard on myself, especially after a loss. I'm going to do a better job my next start."

Fulmer lost for the first time since May 5, winning his previous six decisions after beginning the season with Triple-A Toledo.

"I was happy for him," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He was pitching outstanding. I would have liked it (streak) to last longer, but the fact was it was going to end at some point and the more important thing for me was the win. It's impressive for anyone. It's much more impressive for a rookie."

Yordano Ventura (6-4), who is appealing a nine-game suspension, pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory. He allowed six hits, walked none and struck out five.


In Ventura's past two starts -- victories over the Chicago White Sox and Tigers -- he has allowed one run, 11 hits, walked one and struck out 15 in 13 1/3 innings.

"Very impressive again," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Ventura.

Ventura did not tolerate a runner touching second base until the seventh and only then after Lorenzo Cain and Cheslor Cuthbert committed errors. Kelvin Herrera was summoned from the bullpen with Victor Martinez on second and Justin Upton on first.

Steven Moya, who was just promoted from the Mud Hens, hit a hard bouncer up the middle, but second baseman Whit Merrifield knocked it down before it could roll into center field and was able to force out Upton at second.

"We haven't seen plays like that this year, where you're sprawled out and saving a run," Yost said.

Moya moved to second on a wild pitch, but Martinez remained at third.

"If he doesn't think he's going to make it, then he's got to hold up," Ausmus said.

Herrera and James McCann engaged in a high drama 10-pitch at-bat. McCann fouled off four pitches with the count full before grounding out to Hosmer at first base, preserving the Royals' 1-0 lead at the time.


The Royals poured it on with a five-run eighth, which included a Kendrys Morales three-run homer, his fifth time to reach base. Hosmer added a two-run single in the eighth as the Royals exploited the Tigers' bullpen for nine runs.

The Tigers avoided a shutout in the ninth when Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton homered off Dillon Gee.

Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer, who had not allowed a run in his four previous starts covering 28 1/3 innings, almost had his streak snapped in the second and third innings, but escaped run-free both times.

Kendrys Morales singled and stopped at third base on Orlando's two-out second inning double over center fielder Andrew Romine's head. Fulmer struck out rookie Brett Eibner to end the inning.

The Royals loaded the bases in the third, but came away with zilch. Cheslor Cuthbert led off the inning with a fly ball single to shallow left. Whit Merrifield put a perfectly placed fly bunt down the third base line, just out of reach of a diving Fulmer, for a single. Alcides Escobar's sacrifice bunt moved Cuthbert to third and Merrifield to second.

Fulmer walked Hosmer on five pitches to load the bases but coaxed Lorenzo Cain to roll into a 6-4-3 double play.


Fulmer's scoreless streak reached 35 1/3 innings after the fifth, breaking the Tigers rookie record of 28 2/3 innings, set by Jon Hiller in 1967.

The Tigers, who blasted six home runs Thursday night, could no nothing with Ventura. They had five hits, all singles, the first five innings.

Miguel Cabrera had two of the hits, but the Tigers failed to get a runner past first base. Jose Iglesias in the third and Victor Martinez in the fourth grounded into double plays.

NOTES: Royals LF Alex Gordon, who went on the disabled list May 23 with a fractured right wrist, will start a rehab assignment this weekend with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Manager Ned Yost said he would like Gordon to get 20-to-25 at-bats and hopefully be ready for the Astros series, beginning next Friday. ... OF Steven Moya was recalled from Triple-A Toledo, where he led the International League with a .571 slugging percentage, and started in right field for the Tigers. He replaces RF J.D. Martinez, who is out four to six weeks with a right elbow fracture. ... The Tigers placed RHP Drew VerHagen on the disabled list with right shoulder thoracic outlet syndrome. ... Tigers CF Cameron Maybin was not in the lineup for the third time in four games with a tender left quad. Manager Brad Ausmus said Maybin was given an extra day as a precaution, but was available to pinch run if needed. ... Tigers LHP Matt Boyd and Royals RHP Edinson Volquez are the Saturday probables.


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