DETROIT (AP) — Vinnie Pasquatino hit his first major league home run and Hunter Dozier followed with a drive into the bullpen, leading Brad Keller and the Kansas City Royals over the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Friday night.
Brad Keller (3-9) allowed five hits and two walks in six-plus scoreless innings. He's won two of his last three starts.
Keller exited after hitting rookie Spencer Torkelson in the helmet with an 88 mph changeup in the seventh. Torkelson stayed on his feet and walked off the field under his own power.
The Tigers scored in the ninth on Eric Haase's sacrifice fly. Royals closer Scott Barlow walked Riley Greene, bringing the winning run to the plate, but he retired Willi Castro on the next pitch for his 11th save.
Michael Pineda (1-3) threw 65 pitches in his return from the injured list, giving up three runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out three without a walk.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the third when Whit Merrifield doubled, stole third without a throw against the shift and scored on Andrew Benintendi's single.
Pasquatino hit his first homer on Pineda's first pitch of the fourth. Dozier then sent a 2-0 pitch into the Kansas City bullpen. It was the second time this season the Royals have hit back-to-back homers.
The Tigers put their first two runners on in the sixth, but Keller retired Javier Baez, Miguel Cabrera and Harold Castro to escape the inning.
Detroit did the same thing in the seventh. After Robbie Grossman walked, Keller hit Torkelson in the helmet. Taylor Clarke replaced Keller, who appeared upset after hitting Torkelson, and retired the next three hitters to keep Detroit scoreless.
Royals: Kansas City recalled RHP Wyatt Mills from Triple-A Omaha and designated RHP Matt Peacock for assignment. In addition, the Royals claimed RHP Ryan Weiss off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tigers: Detroit activated Pineda from the injured list. He had been sidelined since May 15 with a fractured middle finger on his right hand. RHP Alex Faedo was optioned to Triple-A. Faedo will be back soon — he will start in Monday's doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians as Detroit's 27th player.
NO NEWS ON RODRIGUEZ
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said before the game he has no new information on LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been on the restricted list since leaving the team on June 13. Rodriguez is in Florida dealing with family issues.
“There's been no movement whatsoever and no communication,” Hinch said. “It's been pretty quiet and we've respected his privacy.”
The teams play the second game of their weekend series on Saturday afternoon, with Detroit's Beau Brieske (1-6, 4.55) facing Brady Singer (3-3, 4.50).