Aug 11, 2019 5:03 AM

Mahomes sharp as Chiefs rout Bengals 38-17 in preseason opener

Posted Aug 11, 2019 5:03 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Patrick Mahomes took his first snap of the preseason, dropped back and set his feet, then threw a perfect pass down the sideline to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for a big gain.


It's was almost as if last season never ended.


The league MVP picked up where he left off from his record-breaking debut as the starter, leading Kansas City to a first-quarter touchdown in a 38-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night.


Mahomes did a bit of everything on his only series with the first-team offense, too. The gunslinger was 4 for 4 for 66 yards, added a wild 10-yard scramble in which he wisely slid at the goal line to avoid a big hit, and even induced an offside penalty with his barking cadence.


"I felt great. To get out there, make some throws, get the guys kind of rolling," he said. "Run game, pass game, I thought it was a good drive to start everything off."


It came after an equally impressive drive by the Cincinnati starters.


Andy Dalton converted a series of third downs while leading the Bengals on a 14-play, 75-yard TD march to open the game . And he did it without the services of injured wide receiver A.J. Green or his top two running backs, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, who were given the night off.


"That's how you want to start the game," Dalton said. "We feel like we've got depth on this team. We've got talent. So for us to miss some of our guys that'll be starting for us this year, not in there, I thought we did a great job."


On that drive, perhaps. But first-year head coach Zac Taylor had a different assessment as a whole.


"You really look at a game like this, 38-17 final score, we had two turnovers on special teams, countless penalties on offense and a defensive pass interference that extended a drive that had a big stop," he said. "That's life in the NFL right now. We've got to correct those mistakes."


The most interesting thing to happen in the game came late in the first half, when Kyle Shurmur was marching the Chiefs downfield. His throw to Byron Pringle down the sideline was picked by safety Brandon Wilson, scuttling the drive and giving Cincinnati a chance with the ball.


But under a rule change approved by NFL owners in March, pass interference calls can be reviewed -- a response to the controversial on-call in the NFC title game last season. And when officials reviewed the play Saturday night, they decided that cornerback Tony Lippett had caused interference.


The penalty gave the Chiefs the ball back and they wound up kicking a field goal.


In a delicious coincidence, the provision passed by a 31-1 vote of owners at the league's annual meeting in Phoenix. The only team that voted against the rule was Cincinnati.


STAT WATCH


Dalton was 7 of 9 for 80 yards. ... Bengals rookie Ryan Finley outplayed Jeff Driskel in the race for the No. 2 QB job, going 13 of 18 for 109 yards with a TD and a pick. ... Josh Caldwell led the Chiefs with 59 yards rushing and a TD. ... Each team was penalized 11 times for 206 yards total.


EARLY EXIT


Chiefs CB D'Montre Wade, who has been competing for a backup job, was ejected in the third quarter for hitting a defenseless receiver near the head. The Bengals ended the drive with a field goal.


ROOKIE WATCH


Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman caught a shuffle pass from Shurmur in the second quarter and went 17 yards for a touchdown . The second-round pick finished with two catches for 31 yards in his debut.


"They called it in the huddle and I was like, `Oh yeah, it's my chance to score right here," Hardman said. "Got the pitch and I saw it open up, I saw the seam. I just said, `Let's hit it and get into the end zone.' I got in there. It felt good. Hopefully there are many more to come."


EYE ON THE BALL


Bengals punt returner Darius Phillips recovered his own muffed punt in the second quarter, but he wasn't as fortunate in the third. The Chiefs' Deon Yelder recovered his next one, and quarterback Chase Litton proceeded to hit running back Darwin Thompson with a 29-yard touchdown throw.


INJURIES


Bengals SS Clayton Fejedelem was carted off with a right ankle injury. TE Cethan Carter left with a neck strain, RB Trayveon Williams hurt his ribs and DT Christian Ringo hurt his thumb.


Chiefs TE John Lovett left early in the second half with a shoulder injury.


MISSING STARS


Bengals DT Geno Atkins joined Mixon and Bernard in getting the night off. The Chiefs sat RB Damien Williams, who recently returned from a hamstring injury, and DE Frank Clark, who has been dealing with a sore wrist after signing a $104 million, five-year deal in the offseason.


UP NEXT


Bengals: At Washington on Thursday night.


Chiefs: At Pittsburgh next Saturday.


--- Associated Press ---

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Aug 11, 2019 5:03 AM
Montgomery strikes out 12 as Royals beat Tigers 7-0

DETROIT -- Mike Montgomery finally got Kansas City a win, 11 years after being drafted by the Royals.


The 30-year-old Montgomery struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings as the Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 7-0 Saturday.


"It took a little while to get my first win as a Royal, but it feels good," Montgomery said. "We needed this one, which makes it even better."


Montgomery was selected in the first round of the 2008 draft, but went to Tampa Bay in a trade for Wade Davis and James Shields in 2012. He made his major-league debut with the Mariners in 2015 before winning a World Series ring with the Cubs in 2016.


On July 15, he returned to Kansas City in a trade for catcher Martin Maldonado.


"I would have never believed it if you would have told me it would take this long to win for Kansas City," he said. "I've had a lot of experiences since I was last with the Royals, so to win this game and do it with a career-high in strikeouts makes it even sweeter."


Jorge Soler homered and scored twice for the Royals, who had lost six of seven.


The Tigers were trying to win three straight games for the first time since May 28-31, against the Orioles and Braves.


"He had a great changeup and he came hard inside on a lot of guys," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We really didn't even hit many balls hard."


Montgomery (2-5) picked up his first win of the year as a starter, allowing four singles without walking a batter. He struck out 10 Royals for Seattle on June 13, 2015.


"That was enjoyable to watch," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You could tell right from the outset that he was on his game."


Spencer Turnbull (3-10) pitched six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk.


Neither team had a baserunner until Whit Merrifield singled to start the fourth. Turnbull retired the next two batters before Jorge Soler homered off the brick wall behind the stands in right-center.


"I knew he hit it hard, but that's the deepest part of the ballpark, so I wasn't sure," Yost said. "I had to look again to see where it hit. He really crushed it."


It was Soler's second homer in as many games and 33rd of the season.


Brandon Dixon broke up Montgomery's perfect game with a leadoff single in the fifth, but was caught stealing.


"He was really tough out there," Tigers catcher Jake Rogers said. "He went right after us and we weren't able to do anything against him."


The top three in Detroit's order -- Victor Reyes, Niko Goodrum and Miguel Cabrera -- went 0-6 with six strikeouts the first two times through the order.


The Royals made it 4-0 off Gregory Soto in the seventh. With two out, Soto misplayed a grounder by Meibrys Viloria. He recovered with time to throw out the bulky Viloria, but threw the ball into right field, allowing Soler and Bubba Starling to score.


"Once the ball hit off his glove, he just panicked," Gardenhire said. "All he had to do was make a nice, easy throw, but he rushed it."


The inning could have gotten worse, but right-fielder Travis Demeritte made a running catch of a drive to deep right-center by Humberto Arteaga and got Soto out of the inning.


Hunter Dozier made it 5-0 with an RBI triple in the eighth, and Merrifield added a two-run double in the ninth.


Gardenhire was relieved the Tigers escaped Merrifield's blooper without major injury. The ball fell between Demeritte, Reyes and Goodrum, all of whom had to take evasive action to avoid a full-speed collision. Goodrum spiked Reyes in the shin, but he stayed in the game.


"That could have been a lot worse," Gardenhire said. "Merrifield got jammed and it landed in the perfect spot with all three guys trying to make a play. We got lucky there."


NEGRO LEAGUE TRIBUTE


The Royals wore the uniforms of the Kansas City Monarchs, while the Tigers were dressed as the Detroit Stars as part of Detroit's annual Negro League weekend.


TRAINER'S ROOM


Royals: SS Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is taking grounders and throwing, but has not begun to swing a bat. He's been out since injuring his shoulder on July 17.


Tigers: LF Christin Stewart (concussion) was recalled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo after his symptoms returned. He was able to do a cardio workout on Saturday. ... CF JaCoby Jones missed his second straight game after being hit in the wrist on Thursday.


UP NEXT


The teams finish their four-game series on Sunday with Detroit's Daniel Norris (3-9, 4.76) facing Jakob Junis (7-10, 4.88).


--- Associated Press ---