Tigers’ Record: 1-0
Tigers 8 – Royals 4
The Tigers hung around, increased Royals’ starter Zack Greinke‘s pitch count and then pounced on the feeble Kansas City bullpen for six runs in the seventh on their way to an 8-4 win.
Justin Verlander, winless in three career Opening Day starts, went five innings allowing six hits and four runs; he fanned six. He allowed a two-run homer to featherweight shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt — not an easy a task.
Tigers @ Royals | 8:10 p.m. ET – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City | On the air: Fox Sports Detroit and WXYT 1270-AM
Tigers History Lesson
On this Date in Tigers History
- 1970 – At Washington’s RFK Stadium, the Tigers behind Mickey Lolich‘s complete-game shutout the Senators 5-0 on Opening Day. Lolich scattered seven hits, walked five and struck out 10. Shortstop Cesar Gutierrez went 3 for 5 with two RBI.
- 1971 – The Tigers beat the Indians 8-2 on Opening Day at Tiger Stadium. Again, Lolich was outstanding: a complete game, six hits, one walk and eight strikes out. And, he went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
- 1987 – On a cold, drizzly Opening Day at Tiger Stadium (a game I attended with my Dad and brother), Jack Morris pitched into the 10th inning (!) but lost to the Yankees 2-1. Larry Herndon launched a homer off the facing of the upper deck in dead center off Yankees starter Dennis Rasmussen. He also hit a triple in providing 40 percent of the Tigers hits that day.
- 1992 – How’s this for bizarre? Jack Morris returns to Detroit as a member of the Blue Jays and stymies the Tigers in a five-hit, complete-game 4-2 win. Rob Deer and Cecil Fielder took Morris deep for the Tigers’ only runs. This also marked the first Opening Day without Ernie Harwell calling Tigers games on WJR. Rick Rizzs and Bob Rathbun debuted and Tigers fans gave them no chance of success in Detroit.