KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - It's back to Toledo for Charlie Furbush. On a hot, sticky night in Kansas City, Detroit's rookie left-hander was reminded that it's not easy becoming a starting pitcher in the major leagues.
It didn't help when his defense committed two errors that led to eight unearned runs in an ugly 13-6 loss to the Royals.
"We're optioning Charlie Furbush to (Triple-A) Toledo," manager Jim Leyland said after the game. "We don't need somebody until the following Wednesday after the break. Charlie will pitch on Thursday in Toledo and then we're going to play it by ear from there. He did not have a good game."
Furbush (1-3), in his second major league start, went only 2 2-3 innings and allowed nine runs on nine hits, including a three-run homer to Alex Gordon which Leyland called "the killer." He walked two and had one strikeout. But significantly, five of the runs were unearned.
"When you don't pitch, you never look good," said Leyland. "We didn't look good tonight. We obviously didn't make a couple of plays. But that's all part of it. We've got one more tomorrow. We've got to push hard tomorrow and hopefully get a win tomorrow."
Furbush agreed it wasn't a good night.
"Rough one. That was a rough one," he said.
He's trying to take the demotion in stride.
"I don't try to predict the future. If that's their move, that's their move. They told me they had that in mind. Obviously, they're not going to tell you that before you start. But it's good to go down there and get some more innings on the mound again. I'm looking forward to that. We'll see."
Alcides Escobar drove in three runs and scored three times for the Royals, who led 9-2 after three innings. Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler had two RBIs apiece.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar struggled with the big lead and was battered for six runs before he was yanked in the fourth. Greg Holland (3-1) wiggled out of trouble to earn the victory, and Everett Teaford kept Detroit off the scoreboard for the final three innings in a game that began in 90-degree heat and took 3 hours, 24 minutes to finish.
"Obviously there's something going on, you know?" Hochevar said. "The second and third time through the lineup, something is happening, because my focus, my approach and my execution I don't think ever really wavers. So something is happening, whether it's my mixture, I'm falling into patterns, whatever it is, there's something there, and I need to figure it out."
Brennan Boesch had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for Detroit, which could have moved ahead of Cleveland and into first place in the AL Central with a victory.
"It's frustrating. But big picture, we've got a chance to win the series tomorrow," Boesch said. "We're in good position if we come out and play well tomorrow. This is over with, but it's definitely frustrating."
Hochevar mowed through the Tigers on seven pitches in the first inning, but things got more difficult for him as the game wore on. He wound up allowing nine hits in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start of the season, and it came one start after he gave up five runs in just 4 1-3 innings at Colorado.
Eric Hosmer's run-scoring fielder's choice gave Kansas City a first-inning lead, and Escobar added another run in the second on another fielder's choice. The Royals then put runners on second and third before Furbush hit Gordon to load the bases for Billy Butler, who came through with a two-run single through the left side after squandering a couple of key chances the previous night.
The Royals piled on with two outs in the third after Ramon Santiago's error on an easy grounder to short allowed the inning to continue. Getz and Cabrera each hit an RBI single, and Gordon hit the first pitch he saw over the wall in center.
Hochevar promptly gave away much of the seven-run lead.
Detroit loaded the bases with none out in the fourth, and Don Kelly scored from third when shortstop Escobar made an error with two outs. Santiago grounded past Hosmer at first for an RBI single, Boesch drove in another run, and Cabrera and Martinez reached on walks to force in another run.
Leyland said he doesn't want his team dwelling on their poor outing, but to come back on Sunday behind All-Star Justin Verlander and try for the series win.
"I've got to believe they think they're going to win tomorrow," he said. "That doesn't mean we will. But if you're not a good team, you're not sure you're going to win tomorrow. When you play 162 games, if you sat around and tried to change everything every time you lost a game, you'd be a miserable creature."
The Royals' bullpen shut down Detroit for the final 6 1-3 innings, with Teaford picking up his first career save.
Notes: Royals 3B Mike Moustakas, hitless in his last 21 at_bats, got the night off. Manager Ned Yost plans to start him against All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander in Sunday's series finale. ... All-Star closer Jose Valverde was unavailable for Detroit after pitching three straight days. He saved the first two wins of the series.
The Associated Press News Service
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