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Pinch-hit home run from Zack Short blasts Detroit Tigers to 6-4 win over Kansas City Royals

Kansas City, Mo. , Detroit Tigers Manager AJ Hinch hit the right buttons at the right time when he brought Jack Short off the bench in Wednesday’s series finale at Kauffman Stadium.

The Kansas City Royals placed left-handed reliever Josh Taylor on the mound in the sixth inning. Hinch countered Short with pinch-hitting despite limited opportunities for Akeel Baddoo this season.

The short, right-handed hitter, swung at a first pitch slider and cranked a three-run home run to left-center field. The Tigers won 6–4 and took the series two games out of three from the Royals.

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Entering Wednesday’s game, Short was hitting .250 with one home run, three walks and 10 strikeouts in 27 plate appearances. He had played in 15 of the Tigers’ 22 games since being promoted from Triple-A Toledo on April 29.

He started six of those 15 games.

Tigers pinch hitter Zack Short celebrates his three-run home run in the sixth inning on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Tigers (22–25) benefited from Short’s presence on the roster, and Hinch’s chess match expertise at the pinch-hit position. His 416-foot home run put the Tigers up 4–1 in the sixth inning.

After the Royals cut the lead to three runs, Jonathan Schupp homered in the eighth inning to help put the series finale out of reach. He hit a two-run double off right-handed reliever Nick Wittgren in left-center field – driving in Spencer Torkelson (double) and short (walk) – to increase the Tigers’ advantage to 6–2.

He was the Scoop’s first RBI of the 2023 season in his 79th plate appearance.

He had not driven a single vehicle since September 29, 2022.

The Royals scored two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings against left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve to make the score 4–2 and right-hander Jason Foley to make it 6–3.

Righty Alex Lange struggled in the ninth inning but limited the loss to one run on Bobby Witt Jr.’s sacrifice fly, making the score 6–4. He trapped a runner on second base and earned his ninth save.

Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd strikes out to first on a ground ball off the bat of Royals second baseman Matt Duffy in the third inning on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd strikes out to first on a ground ball off the bat of Royals second baseman Matt Duffy in the third inning on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Oh, He bullpen

Left-hander Matthew Boyd dominated three innings and bowed in the fourth and nearly broke down in the fifth. He left runners on the corners with two outs for right-handed reliever Will West.

The 32-year-old walked two batters and hit another batter for a total of three free passes. A one-out double and two-out walk forced Boyd to exit and put West in the uncomfortable position of coming out of the bullpen.

Avoiding the jam seemed easy, thanks to the vest. Witt swung at the fastball of the first pitch and grounded out to right field.

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Boyd gave up one run on three hits and allowed two walks with six strikeouts in 4⅔ innings, throwing 52 of 86 pitches for strikes. He loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning and limited the loss to one run.

After MJ Melendez forced out a run, Freddy Fermin swung at Boyd’s slider and advanced to fourth. The slider, which averaged 81 mph, was thrown 41% of the time and went 10 of 15 whiffs.

Boyd retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced.

a green monster

Facing right-hander Zack Greinke, the Tigers scored their first run in the top of the fourth inning.

Riley Green found a fifth pitch sinker at the top of the strike zone, and his swing produced an exit speed of 112.6 mph. The ball traveled 440 feet to right-center field for a solo home run.

Tigers center fielder Riley Green hits a solo home run in the fourth inning on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tigers center fielder Riley Green hits a solo home run in the fourth inning on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

It was Green’s fifth homer in 2023 and his third in May. Green, a left-handed hitter, hit all three of those homers to the right side of field, a positive sign as he aims to tap into his power potential.

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Greinke allowed one run on four hits and one run with five strikeouts, throwing 60 of 91 pitches for strikes. He pitched in the 567th game of his 20-year MLB career and has a 4.55 ERA in 11 starts this season.

The 39-year-old registered nine whiffs and 19 called strikeouts. His fastball and sinker were his most effective pitches.

Contact Evan Petzold at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold,

This article was originally published on the Detroit Free Press: Zack Short leads Detroit Tigers to 6-4 win over Kansas City Royals

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