In my season preview, I mentioned how I could see the Tigers' season going in one of two directions. It's too early to tell much of anything (since just about every team is going to have a stretch of nine games where they don't play well), but it would be nice for them to stop going in the wrong direction. Today's game didn't help. Porcello was a bit better with getting the ground ball, but he ran out of steam too early and those ground balls turned into live drives. Four errors didn't help matters, even though all the runs were technically earned. For some reason, the pitchers got it into their heads that Miguel Cabrera is left-handed and has six-foot long arms. The other two errors came from Brandon Inge (out of character) and Ryan Raburn (somewhat in character). I don't rag on Brad Thomas like a lot of other fans do, but when he's the best pitcher of the day, something's wrong.
The offense couldn't get anything going against Luke Hochevar until it was too late, and every time they scored, the Royals would come right back and score more. The good news is that they seem to have found their power stroke again. Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila, and Miguel Cabrera all went deep in the loss, but they were never able to get a big rally going. They got the first two on in the eighth inning and Will Rhymes followed that with a nice 9-pitch battle, but ended up grounding into a double play and the rally fizzled. They also got the first two on in the ninth, but the Royals did damage control and they only managed to get one run out of it. Outside of that, there weren't a whole lot of good scoring opportunities. Also, they didn't draw a single walk.
If the Tigers are going to get on track before their next road trip, they're going to have to do it against the defending AL champs, the Texas Rangers, who are 8-1 and red hot, both in offense and pitching. The Tigers did not give up a home run to the Royals in the entire three-game series, but they probably won't duplicate that feat against the Rangers, who have been leaving the yard in bunches. Anyways, the Tigers have their best shot in the first game with Justin Verlander starting. He was awesome against the Orioles, and he's generally pitched well against Texas in his career. The Rangers will start Alexi Ogando, who was a reliever last year but has made his way into the starting rotation.