MLB: Tigers use six-run 7th to beat Greinke, Royals 8-4
By DOUG TUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Johnny Damon and Brandon Inge drove in two runs apiece in a six-run seventh inning against Kansas City's shaky bullpen and the Detroit Tigers rallied for an 8-4 win Monday.
Earlier on the wind-swept opening day, Yuniesky Betancourt's two-run home run and Billy Butler's bases-loaded single staked Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke to a 4-2 lead over Justin Verlander in a duel between two of baseball's premier starters.
But when Greinke departed after allowing six hits and one earned run through six innings, the Tigers sent 10 men to the plate in the seventh and punished three relievers for six hits and six runs.
Robinson Tejeda (0-1) got just one out and allowed three runs. Joel Zumaya (1-0) went one inning and a batter, throwing 12 pitches.
Verlander, the major league leader with 269 strikeouts last season, gave up six hits and four runs in five innings. He walked one and struck out six in his first start since agreeing to a $80 million, five-year contract with the Tigers.
In six innings, Greinke allowed six hits and two runs with four strikeouts and a walk. Only one run was earned, though.
Greinke did not give up an earned run until his fifth start last year, when he allowed none or one in 18 of 33 starts.
Luis Colon walked Scott Sizemore leading off the seventh and gave up a single to Ramon Santiago. Tejeda came in and Austin Jackson, making his major league debut, hit an RBI double. Damon, who signed a one-year free agent contract in February, followed with a two-run double. Inge added a two-run double off Juan Cruz.
Jose Guillen singled on a 100-mph fastball from Verlander in the second and Betancourt sent a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a 2-1 lead.
The Royals loaded the bases in the fifth with two out on two singles and a walk and Butler hit an opposite-field double into right.
The Tigers scored an unearned run off Greinke in the first When Magglio Ordonez doubled and later scored from third when third baseman Willie Bloomquist dropped his infield popup in the gusty wind.
Miguel Cabrera's RBI single made it 4-2 in the sixth.
NOTES: The Royals did not have one player in their opening day lineup who played the same position on opening day last year. ... Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman served a one-game suspension on Monday that was a carry-over from a fracas last season. ... Tigers 2B Sizemore also made his big league debut. ... The Royals' David DeJesus got a laugh from the crowd of 40,052 with an ungainly face-first slide into second. He did a bellyflop short of the base and sort of bounced to the bag, unaware that Detroit catcher Gerald Laird hadn't even made a throw.