Detroit One day after being shut down by Justin Verlander, the Kansas City Royals fared no better against Brad Penny.
Penny pitched eight scoreless innings with the help of some terrific Detroit fielding, and the Tigers beat Kansas City, 3-0, on Saturday for their seventh straight victory. The Royals scored only one run the night before against Verlander in a 3-1 loss.
“Pitchers feed off each other,” Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur said. “I’m sure (Penny) saw Verlander last night and probably thought he had to come out and keep it going.”
Detroit scored three runs in the first inning, then held on for its 10th victory in 11 games. The Tigers made four marvelous plays in the field to prevent a Kansas City comeback.
Penny (4-3) allowed five hits and no walks in eight innings, striking out two. Jose Valverde struck out two more in a hitless ninth, earning his 10th save.
Jeff Francis (0-5) pitched all eight innings for Kansas City, allowing seven hits and a walk. He struck out four.
“Just didn’t come out of the chute with the best stuff,” Francis said. “I guess I got a wake-up call.”
Francis bounced back in what was his longest outing since 2007.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to their guy,” Penny said. “He gave up those runs early and pitched deep into the game and saved their bullpen. That guy threw well enough to win today.”
The complete game was the first for Francis since Aug. 29, 2007, when he was pitching for the Colorado Rockies.