DETROIT — Royals right-hander Jason Hammel gave it everything he had — and then some.
Hammel pitched his longest game as a Royal — nine innings — but it wasn’t enough, as the Tigers walked off with a 3-2 win with one out in the bottom of the 10th on JaCoby Jones’ home run Friday afternoon in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Comerica Park. The Royals now have lost nine straight, their longest skid since April 2017.
Hammel gave up two runs and five hits in his longest game since June 16, 2012, when he pitched a nine-inning complete game for the Orioles.
“What can you ask more from a pitcher, to give you nine strong innings?” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was fantastic.”
Since a rough first outing this season, Hammel has given up just four runs over 20 1/3 innings, but he took no solace in his Friday outing.
“Losses are losses,” Hammel said. “I try to be a positive guy, but we’re trying to win. We’re not trying always to find a silver lining. We know we’re close to getting things right. They were able to make one more move than us, and it counted in their favor. Obviously, it’s a bummer, and we’re still trying to figure it out, but it’s not lack of effort, for sure.”
Jones homered off reliever Brad Keller on a 2-2 two-seam fastball.
“It maybe caught too much of the plate,” Keller said. “I thought it was a good pitch, inside. He put a good swing on it.”
The Royals got on the board in the sixth when Mike Moustakas, the designated hitter, belted his fifth home run this season. The homer, on a 1-1 changeup from Michael Fulmer, brought Kansas City within one run and extended Moustakas’ hitting streak to 11 games.
The Royals tied it at 2 in the seventh on a single by Ryan Goins, a fielder’s choice, a single by Cam Gallagher and an RBI hit by Jon Jay.