DETROIT (AP) — Shane Greene has been part of almost every victory this season for the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander allowed a home run in the ninth inning against Kansas City on Friday night, but still closed out the win.
Greene finished Detroit’s 4-3 victory over the Royals for his American League-leading 13th save in 13 chances. The Tigers only have 14 wins, so Greene is clearly a big reason Detroit is just a game under .500 in what was supposed to be another rebuilding year.
“You lose your confidence, sooner or later you’re going to pay for it,” Greene said. “So you’ve got to walk around thinking you’re the best, knowing you’re the best and playing like you’re the best.”
Greene struck out two in the ninth, but he also allowed a solo homer to Jorge Soler and a two-out double to pinch-hitter Ryan O’Hearn. He finally retired Martin Maldonado on a popup to end it.
Matthew Boyd struck out nine in another solid outing, and the Tigers scored three runs in the first inning. It was the sixth straight quality start for Boyd, who allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked one.
“His pitch count got up early, and then he had a couple good innings to get back in it,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We needed him out there.”
Joe Jimenez struck out two in a perfect eighth for Detroit.
Jorge Lopez (0-3) settled down nicely after a tough start. He allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings.
“He made a little adjustment after the first inning and he just got a lot sharper,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He left some sliders up in the first and they hit them, but he didn’t let them do that the rest of the way.”
Miguel Cabrera hit an RBI single in the first, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead before Lopez had gotten an out. Another run came home when Ronny Rodríguez grounded into a force play, and Rodríguez scored on a wild pitch, sliding in safely on a close play at the plate.