Kyle Funkhouser returns to the mound for the Tigers.
Funkhouser allows a double to Franchy Cordero and then walks Brett Phillips. A 2-2 pitch to Whit Merrifield is smacked for a double, bringing in Cordero and sending Phillips to third. We’re all tied up at 5-5. Nobody out.
Jordy Mercer makes a great play to stop a rocket from Jorge Soler, hold the runner at third, and then fire to first base safely for the out.
Funkhouser gets Adalberto Mondesi swinging for the second out of the inning, then walks Salvador Perez on a full count to load the bases.
Ryan O’Hearn hits a ground ball to right, bringing in Merrifield and Phillips to put the Royals up, 7-5. Funkhouser’s day is done.
Final line for Funkhouser: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Beau Burrows is making his MLB debut for the Tigers now.
Things do not go well for Burrows, as he gives up a 3-run homer to Maikel Franco almost immediately. The Royals lead, 10-5.
Burrows then walks Alex Gordon. Cameron Maybin catches a fly ball to mercifully end the inning.
END TOP 4TH: Royals 10, Tigers 5
Alright, here come the Tigers, now down a boatload.
Victor Reyes grounds out to lead off the inning. Austin Romine hits a soft ground ball to third, but it’s thrown away, and he advances to second on the error.
After Brett Phillips singles to lead off the inning, Whit Merrifield hits a homer to left. It’s now a two-run game with nobody down.
Jorge Soler is out on a hard-hit ball to Victor Reyes. Adalberto Mondesi then grounds out to first. Two away, with Salvador Perez stepping into the box.
Perez hits a homer to the deepest part of the ballpark to make it a one-run game. That makes it four home runs in two innings between the two ballclubs. Somebody find Nick Castellanos.
Michael Fulmer walks Ryan O’Hearn, and his day is done.
Final line for Fulmer: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
In comes Kyle Funkhouser for the Tigers, making his MLB debut. There will be no pronouns attributed to Funkhouser in this blog. His name, Funkhouser, will be written at every opportunity. Funkhouser.
Funkhouser gives up a single to Maikel Franco, putting runners at first and second with two outs. JaCoby Jones chases down a fly ball to end the inning and get Funkhouser out of the jam.
END TOP 3RD: Tigers 5, Royals 4
Foster Griffin is on to make his MLB debut for the Royals, ending Mike Montgomery’s day.
Final line for Montgomery: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Griffin gets C.J. Cron swinging for out No. 1. Jordy Mercer grounds out to short. Two away. Cameron Maybin grounds out, and the inning is over.
END BOTTOM 3RD: Tigers 5, Royals 4
2nd inning: Jones homer helps give Tigers 5-1 lead in second
Michael Fulmer strikes out Ryan O’Hearn on three pitches to open the second inning.
Maikel Franco takes Fulmer deep on a 1-1 slider to put the Royals up, 1-0.
Fulmer regroups, getting Alex Gordon to hit a weak flyout to right. Franchy Cordero hits a groundout to end the inning, but the damage has been done.
END TOP 2ND: Royals 0, Tigers 0
Jordy Mercer’s grounder finds a hole, and the Tigers’ leadoff hitter is on with a base hit to start the second inning. Cameron Maybin drops a base hit into the outfield; Mercer turns for third, the throw follows suit, and Maybin sneaks into second.
The Tigers have runners at first and second with nobody down.
Victor Reyes hits a chopper to short; Adalberto Mondesi can’t handle it, and Reyes gets to first base safely while Mercer heads home to tie things up for the Tigers.
The Tigers have runners on first and second, still nobody out.
Austin Romine is thrown out easily after his bat breaks on a softly hit ball to short, but the runners advance, and now Detroit has two runners in scoring position with one away.
JaCoby Jones takes Mike Montgomery deep to left, and the Tigers have a three-run lead.
Then Niko Goodrum hits a ball into the gap, turns on the jets, and gets all the way to third.
Are the Tigers … pouring it on?
Jonathan Schoop’s flyout to center will bring in Goodrum from third. It’s 5-1, Detroit.
Miguel Cabrera’s chopper to second ends the inning, but the Tigers are up four.
END BOTTOM 2ND: Tigers 5, Royals 1
1st inning: Fulmer gets out of first inning with relative ease
Michael Fulmer throws his first pitch since September, 2018. It’s a strike, and opening day at Comerica Park is a go. Whit Merrifield gets the last laugh, taking a 2-2 pitch to right for a base hit.
Fulmer strikes out Jorge Soler with a slider for his first out of the game. He then gets Adalberto Mondesi to pop up in the infield for out No. 2. Cameron Maybin tracks a Salvador Perez flyout, and Fulmer is out of the first inning with ease.
END TOP 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0
Niko Goodrum grounds out in his leadoff at-bat for the Tigers. Jonathan Schoop does the same, and there’s two away. Miguel Cabrera strokes a base hit into left-center, bringing up C.J. Cron.
Mike Montgomery gets Cron swinging to end the inning.
END BOTTOM 1st: Tigers 0, Royals 0
This will be an Opening Day at Comerica Park like no other.
The Tigers play their home opener Monday night, taking on the Kansas City Royals in an American League Central showdown beginning at 7:10 p.m. And, while Opening Days at Comerica usually boast sold-out crowds and plenty of fanfare, this one will be played in a near-empty stadium because of the pandemic.
Fans will miss seeing a first-place Tigers team (sure, it’s early) in person, after Detroit took two out of three in Cincinnati and shares the AL Central top spot with Cleveland and Minnesota.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer will take the mound for the Tigers, making his return following Tommy John surgery. He’ll oppose lefty Mike Montgomery.
Follow along here for live updates from Detroit News contributor Nolan Bianchi.
Royals at Tigers
► First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Comerica Park, Detroit
► TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox 2/97.1 FM
► Probables: Royals LHP Mike Montgomery vs. Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer
► Tickets: Typically the hottest ticket in town, that’s not the case this season, with COVID-19 shutting fans out of major-league ballgames at least through the regular season.
1. Niko Goodrum, SS
2. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, DH
4. C.J. Cron, 1B
5. Jordy Mercer, 3B
6. Cameron Maybin, RF
7. Christin Stewart, LF
8. Austin Romine, C
9. Victor Reyes, CF
SP: Michael Fulmer, RHP
1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
2. Jorge Soler, RF
3. Adalberto Mondesi, SS
4. Salvador Perez, C
5. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Alex Gordon, LF
8. Franchy Cordero, DH
9. Brett Phillips, CF
SP: Mike Montgomery, LHP