KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Johnny Giavotella's debut could hardly have gone better, except for the loss.
The Royals rookie went 2 for 3 in his big league debut, with a double, a walk a steal, a run and a RBI single in the Royals' three-run seventh that tied the game, before Kansas City lost 4-3 to the Detroit Tigers in the 10th inning on Friday nigth
``I thought he looked great,' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ``He had great at_bats. He smoked the ball in his double down the line. It was a great debut for him. He's very confident in his ability. He knows he's a hitter, and he can swing that bat. Those were great swings he put on those balls against a guy that was throwing the ball very, very well.'
Giavotella hit an RBI single to knock Tigers starter Rick Porcello out of the game before scoring the tying run on Alcides Escobar's single in the seventh.
``Going into the game I heard he (Porcello) had a good sinker so I wanted to stay away and focus on going up the middle or right field because if I try to pull it I'm going to get myself out.' Giavotella said. ``I told myself to look for something over the middle to take to right. He left something out over the middle and I put a good swing on it and got it by the first baseman.'
Giavotella grounded into a double play in his first at-bat.
``I felt good at the plate,' he said. ``I hit the ball hard right at the second baseman, but unfortunately they turned two. Overall, it was a great time out there. It was an experience I'll never forget. I had some jitters coming into the game, some butterflies here and there, but after that first ground ball I calmed down and felt comfortable out there.'
Brennan Boesch hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th after Wilson Betemit led off with a walk and pinch-runner Andy Dirks took second on a wild pitch by Aaron Crow (3-3) with one out.
Daniel Schlereth (1-1) worked two scoreless innings and Jose Valverde pitched the bottom of the 10th for his 31st straight save.
Austin Jackson and Boesch opened the game with back-to-back triples in the Tigers' two-run first inning. Alex Avila tacked on a solo homer in the fifth.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.
Rick Porcello had a string of wins in five straight starts snapped. He left with one out in the seventh after giving up Giavotella's RBI single.
Phil Coke came on, gave up an RBI single to Mike Moustakas, and left. David Pauley gave up Escobar's tying hit to center field.
Notes: The Tigers began a stretch Friday where they are playing 12 of 15 games against AL Central opponents. .Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera singled in the fourth for his 80th hit in 65 games against the Royals. .Royals DH Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a seventh inning leadoff single. . The Royals optioned INF Yamaico Navarro, who they acquired in a trade to Omaha to make roster space for Giavotella. .The Royals fell to 10-7 in extra-inning games. .RHP Justin Verlander, who starts Saturday, is seven strikeouts shy of tying Denny McClain (1,150) for ninth place on the Tigers career list. Verlander will be seeking his 99th career win. . LHP Danny Duffy, scheduled to start for the Royals on Saturday, has struck out 40 in 37 1-3 innings in his past six starts. In his first six, Duffy struck out just 20 in 30 1-3 innings in his first six starts.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.