KANSAS CITY — No offensive breakout and no late-inning magic this time.
The Royals were shut out for five innings by Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann and managed just five hits in a 3-2 loss on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals matched a season high with 10 runs Thursday, then rallied for a 4-2 win Friday. But Zimmermann has yet to allow the Royals more than two runs in six career starts against them.
The Royals did have the tying run on third and the winning run on first with two out in the ninth against Tigers closer Shane Greene. Lucas Duda led off with a double and scored when Alex Gordon’s one-out liner to center actually caromed off Leonys Martin’s head for an error. Gordon then went to third on Ryan Goins’ two-out single, but Jon Jay struck out to end the game.
Royals starter Jason Hammel was hit hard in the first, giving up RBI doubles to Nicholas Castellanos, Victor Martinez and John Hicks.
But Hammel settled down after that and allowed the Tigers no further runs. And he saved the bullpen to some degree, going 6 2/3 innings. He have up 10 hits, three runs, walked one and struck out five.
The Royals had a great chance to do some damage in the fifth inning, with some help from the Tigers. Alcides Escobar drew a one-out walk, and with two outs advanced to second on Jay’s single to right.
Jorge Soler grounded to third, but was safe at first when Hicks dropped the throw. But with the bases loaded, Zimmermann struck out Mike Moustakas.