Tigers absorb a Royal beating

Detroit also loses Cabrera, Sheffield

Mark Teahen's solo blast helped the Royals vanquish the Tigers to complete a season-opening three-game sweep in Detroit. Mark Teahen's solo blast helped the Royals vanquish the Tigers to complete a season-opening three-game sweep in Detroit. (Duane Burleson/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / April 4, 2008

The Kansas City Royals were supposed to provide a perfect launching pad for the Detroit Tigers' highly touted offense.

The Royals pitchers did not cooperate, and the Tigers failed to launch.

Zack Greinke had an outstanding performance for Kansas City, allowing one run in seven innings, as the Royals finished off a season-opening sweep with a 4-1 win yesterday in Detroit.

The Tigers and their $138.7 million payroll managed five runs in the series, including just one in the final 21 innings.

"We stunk," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We look like we're just going up there and giving at-bats away without any purpose. The manager's responsible for the preparation and the performance of the club, and right now, we don't look very prepared.

"We just look like [we're] dead."

Detroit is hitting .206 with 24 strikeouts in three games.

Kansas City is 3-0 for the first time since winning its first nine games in 2003. Last year, the Royals didn't win a series until their sixth try, when they took two of three against Minnesota from April 20-22.

Already missing Curtis Granderson because of a broken hand, the Tigers played without Miguel Cabrera, who is day to day with a quadriceps strain, then saw designated hitter Gary Sheffield tear a tendon in his left ring finger on a play at second in the eighth.

Sheffield said he would try to play through the injury but wouldn't know his status until the swelling subsided.

Greinke (1-0) gave up six hits while improving to 7-3 against Detroit.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2 - Bobby Abreu's bloop single snapped an eighth-inning tie, and New York got a solid outing from Phil Hughes in beating Toronto at Yankee Stadium.

After scoring 76 more runs than any other team in the major leagues last season, New York's powerful lineup managed only eight in its first three games against a fine Toronto pitching staff. Still, that was enough to take two of three in the series.

Joba Chamberlain (1-0) worked a scoreless inning and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his second save. The 21-year-old Hughes, the youngest pitcher in the majors, allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, with four strikeouts.

White Sox 2, Indians 1 - John Danks didn't allow a hit until Casey Blake singled leading off the sixth inning and Joe Crede hit a tiebreaking home run off Jake Westbrook in the eighth to lead Chicago in Cleveland.

Cleveland scored 17 runs in winning the first two games of the opening series but managed two hits against four pitchers yesterday.

Danks allowed one run and two hits in 6 2/3 innings. He was 6-13 with a 5.50 ERA in 26 starts last year and entered winless in his previous seven starts, going 0-6 with a 7.84 ERA.

Angels 5, Twins 4 - In the final game of an emotional return to the Metrodome, Torii Hunter homered leading off the seventh inning to back a strong start from Ervin Santana and help Los Angeles beat Minnesota.

Prior to his drive, Hunter had gone just 2 for 14 to start the season and admitted to being gassed from the ceremonies and warm welcomes he received from Twins fans who watched him star in center field for nine years.

Reds 3, Diamondbacks - Johnny Cueto allowed nothing more than Justin Upton's solo homer in seven innings, striking out 10 in an overpowering debut while leading host Cincinnati past Arizona.

Cueto, 22, threw his 96-mile-per-hour fastball right by hitters who had never seen it, finishing them off with a hard slider or changeup. Pitching in a steady rain, the righthander struck out eight of his first 13 batters.

His 10 strikeouts were the most by a Reds pitcher in his big league debut since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Pirates 4, Braves 3 - Xavier Nady drove in Nyjer Morgan with a single in the top of the 10th inning to lift Pittsburgh over Atlanta.

The Braves used seven pitchers after Mike Hampton's much-anticipated comeback was postponed by a chest injury suffered in pregame warm-ups. Hampton was placed on the 15-day disabled list and Jeff Bennett started in his place.

Hampton's absence forced the Braves to get creative with their bullpen. Chris Resop started the 10th on the mound, moved to left field for a batter to set up a lefty-on-lefty matchup, then went back to the mound. Once there, Resop (0-1) gave up Nady's go-ahead single.

Padres 3, Astros 2 - Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth less than 24 hours after blowing the save and taking the loss as host San Diego beat Houston. It was Hoffman's second save in three chances, extending his big league record to 526.

Scott Hairston went 3 for 3 and scored two runs while batting leadoff. Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run homer for the Padres, who took three of four from the Astros.

Cubs 6, Brewers 3 - Former closer Ryan Dempster was a winner in his return to the rotation, Aramis Ramirez homered, and Alfonso Soriano had two RBIs as Chicago doubled up Milwaukee at Wrigley Field.

Starter-turned-closer Kerry Wood pitched the ninth for his first career save as the Cubs averted an opening three-game sweep.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 0 - Brad Thompson had a career-high six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings as St. Louis shut out visiting Colorado.

The Cardinals took two of three from the defending NL champions, who totaled five runs in the series. Colorado was 3 for 25 with runners in scoring position, two of the hits coming in the finale, but Todd Helton was thrown out at the plate in the sixth.

Phillies 8, Nationals 7 - Jesus Colome walked Jayson Werth to force in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving Philadelphia the win.

The game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Orioles was postponed because of rain in Baltimore. No makeup date was set.

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