Aug 12, 2019 3:32 AM

Dozier, Soler each homer twice as Royals beat Tigers 10-2

Posted Aug 12, 2019 3:32 AM

DETROIT -- Comerica Park's spacious outfield has frustrated hitters many times over the years.

It hasn't been a big deal for Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler this season.

Dozier and Jorge Soler each homered twice Sunday, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 10-2 for a split of the four-game series between the worst teams in the AL Central.

"They've got the type of power that makes any park look small," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They are both swinging the bat extremely well right now."

It was Dozier's third career multihomer game, all of which have come on the current road trip. He hit two against the Twins on Aug. 2, and then duplicated the feat Thursday in the series opener in Detroit.

"I feel really good in the box right now, and I've felt that was for a while," he said. "Today was a good day to hit and we both see the ball well here."

Soler went deep four times in the final three games of the series. He now has 35 homers, three behind Mike Moustakas' team record of 38.

"Obviously, the record is right there and everyone likes to break records, but I'm not thinking about that," he said through an interpreter. "I'm recognizing pitches as soon as it comes out of the pitcher's hand. That's the key."

Whit Merrifield led off the game with a home run for the second time in three days. The trio combined for 10 homers in the series.

"I don't think we ever established the inside corner against them, so they were coming to the plate looking for stuff on the outside half," Tigers catcher John Hicks said. "Dozier and Soler are big, strong guys, so if they can get something out there, they will hit it a long way."

The Royals won their second in a row after losing six of seven. Last-place Detroit fell to 7-23 since the All-Star break.

"It is disappointing to win the first two games of the series and only end up with a split," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just didn't do enough the last two days."

Jakob Junis (8-10) improved to 7-1 against the Tigers, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings. His seven wins against Detroit in the last three seasons are tied with Corey Kluber for the most in the majors.

"I didn't feel great out there, but I located pitches when I needed them," he said. "They took advantage of some mistakes early, but I was able to keep a lot of runs off the board and let the offense do what they did."

Daniel Norris (3-10) allowed three homers in three innings, leaving the Tigers down 4-2.

"I didn't have much of anything today," he said. "I had a blister that made me adjust my changeup grip and I never got it to work."

Merrifield led off with his 14th homer after he opened Friday's 5-2 loss with an inside-the-park homer against Edwin Jackson. Norris retired the next batter, but Dozier hit his third homer of the series into the Royals' bullpen in left-center.

Niko Goodrum made it 2-1 in the bottom of the first with his 11th homer, but Soler responded with a two-run drive in the third for his 34th homer.

Soler finished with three hits and five RBI. He homered again in the eighth against Drew VerHagen and hit a two-run single in the ninth.


Dozier and Soler each have six home runs at Comerica Park this season, more than any Tiger other than JaCoby Jones (seven). Merrifield has four, one more than Miguel Cabrera.


With a win on Saturday or Sunday, the Tigers would have won just their third home series of the season. They swept the Royals in three games in April and won two of three from Kansas City in May. They are 9-7 against Kansas City this season and 26-73 against the rest of the major leagues.


Both teams have Monday off before starting a home series on Tuesday. Matthew Boyd (6-8. 4.16 ERA) will start for Detroit against Yusei Kikuchi (4-8, 5.34 ERA) of the Seattle Mariners, while the Royals will have Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.71 ERA) starting against the St. Louis Cardinals.

--- Associated Press ---

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Aug 12, 2019 3:32 AM
Thomas' slam leads Cardinals to comeback win over Pirates

ST. LOUIS -- In the big leagues primarily as a defensive replacement, Cardinals rookie outfielder Lane Thomas pounced with a chance to flex his hitting muscles.

Thomas ripped a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler also homered, and St. Louis beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 Sunday.

The Cardinals rallied from an 8-4 deficit to sweep the three-game series and move into second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Bell had two homers and four RBI for Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight. Pablo Reyes added a solo shot in the ninth.

Thomas, playing his 21st game, drove in five runs. His first career slam came off Kyle Crick (3-7) and put the Cardinals ahead 9-8. He also had an RBI triple in the fourth.

"I knew he was going to throw a fastball and I just tried to get ready for it," Thomas said.

Thomas, who has been recalled from the minors four times this season, started for only the second time. Most of his other 19 appearances came as a late game defensive replacement.

"My main focus is to make sure my body feels good and that I'm ready when the opportunity comes up," Thomas said. "My role has been the defensive part of it, and I really focus on that."

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt was impressed with Thomas' all-around effort. Thomas hosed Adam Frazier at the plate with a one-hop throw from center in the first inning.

"It speaks to the kind of player that he needs to be," Shildt said. "He's going to need to be the guy that can do things like that."

Thomas' five RBI performance ties him for second among NL rookies this season behind Will Smith of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drove in six against Washington on July 17.

Crick got two strikes on Thomas but could not put him away.

"I was going to throw a heater down," Crick said. "I think it ended up inside about thigh high and he put a pretty good swing on it."

John Gant (8-0) tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the win. Andrew Miller recorded up his fourth save in six tries.

Goldschmidt hit his team-high 26th homer in the first inning and started the five-run seventh-inning rally with a leadoff single. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single, and Crick hit back-to-back batters to set the stage for Thomas' third homer of the season.

Fowler hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Geoff Hartlieb.

"A game that encapsulates this team's toughness," Shildt said. "We have the kind of players that you win with."

Bell hit two-run homers in the first and fifth innings. It was the fifth multihomer game of his career, all this season. The homers, his 28th and 29th, were his first since July 5. He has an NL-leading 68 extra-base hits.

Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault gave up four earned runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Brault had a seven-game hitting streak halted with an 0-for-2 performance. He came into the contest on an 8-for-10 run.

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas surrendered five earned runs and seven hits over five innings. He gave up both home runs to Bell.

St. Louis outfielder Jose Martinez left the game in the fifth with right shoulder discomfort. He will undergo tests on Monday and is considered day-to-day.

The Pirates are 20-41 since June 1.

"At the end of the day, the game's designed to break your heart," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "And the game beats you up every once in a while."


The Cardinals will play 24 of their next 30 games against teams with losing records and a combined .446 winning percentage. St. Louis is 31-20 against teams with losing marks.


Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli began a rehab stint Sunday night with Double-A Altoona. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day injured list with a concussion May 26.

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina is, "very likely," to rejoin the team on Tuesday, according to Shildt. Molina has been out since July 8 with a right thumb tendon stain. He has missed the last 28 games.


Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (0-1, 10.50) will face Los Angeles Angels LHP Jose Suarez (2-3, 6.22) in the first of a three-game set in Anaheim on Monday. Keller will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. He will be making his fourth major league start.

Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (5-6 3.72) will take on Kansas City RHP Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.71) in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday in Kansas City. Flaherty struck out 10 batters in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.

--- Associated Press ---