x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Inge keeps Tigers on top

Brandon Inge hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Detroit Tigers a 1-0 win in a tight pitching duel against the Kansas City Royals.

Detroit Tigers' Brandon Inge, centre, celebrates his match-winning home run with teammates Adam Everett, left, and Carlos Guillen. The Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals in a close contest on Friday.
Detroit Tigers' Brandon Inge, centre, celebrates his match-winning home run with teammates Adam Everett, left, and Carlos Guillen. The Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals in a close contest on Friday.

Brandon Inge hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Detroit Tigers a 1-0 win in a tight pitching duel against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers third baseman drove a 2-1 pitch to left field off reliever Roman Colon to support pitcher Jarrod Washburn, who delivered his finest performance in three starts since being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on July 31.

"Now I feel more like a part of this team," Washburn said. "It's a great feeling, because the Tigers didn't trade for the guy who went out and pitched like I did my first two starts. "I always knew Detroit was a great baseball town, but I felt a part of it." Washburn tossed eight scoreless innings to match the effort of Kansas City pitcher Zack Greinke, who shut out Detroit over seven innings while striking out six batters.

Left-hander Washburn had allowed 11 runs in two previous starts with his new team but surrendered just three hits to help the American League Central-leading Tigers (61-54) win their second consecutive game. Curtis Granderson was two-for-three for the Tigers and was the only player to record multiple hits. The Royals, in last place in the Central Division, had runners on first and third in the eighth but could not capitalise, leaving them 45-70 for the year.

Greinke, 25, an early favourite for the AL Cy Young award before losing four decisions in a row, remained the struggling Royals' bright light, tossing 106 pitches before handing the ball to Colon, who took the loss. Elsewhere in the American League, the Texas Rangers failed to take advantage of a heavy defeat for American League West Division leaders Los Angeles Angels as they slipped to an 8-4 loss at the Boston Red Sox.

The Angels lost 16-6 to the Baltimore Orioles, for whom Felix Pie hit for the cycle. The result was all the more astounding considering the Orioles had scored only 12 runs in their last five games. Texas though were unable to claim a third win in a row as they lost their series opener at Fenway Park, conceding six runs in the ninth inning to keep the Red Sox best placed for the American League's wild card play-off berth.

The Chicago White Sox beat Oakland 8-7 thanks to Alexei Ramirez's solo homer in the first extra inning while Cleveland thrashed Minnesota 11-0. The New York Yankees recorded their 11th win in 12 by beating Seattle 4-2, their 73rd victory of the regular season, as Andy Pettitte claimed 10 strike outs. Toronto won 5-2 at Tampa Bay with Lyle Overbay setting them on the way with a two-run homer in the first inning and Roy Halladay then allowing just two runs.

* Reuters