As good as Rick Porcello was Tuesday night, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland thinks he can do better.
DETROIT - As good as Rick Porcello was Tuesday night, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland thinks he can do better.
Porcello allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and Ryan Raburn homered to lead Detroit to its fifth straight win, 9-1 over the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night.
Third baseman Brandon Inge, in his 10th season with the Tigers, got a single for his 1,000th career hit.
Porcello (6-11) retired the first 12 batters he faced before Billy Butler singled leading off the fifth inning. Porcello then retired the next three batters. He walked one and struck out four.
"He changed the planes. He threw strikes. He was good. He got the ball on the ground," Leyland said. "Was he great? No. But he was good."
Porcello said it wasn't a big deal when his shot at a no-hitter was broken up.
"It's only the fifth inning, still a long ways to go for that," Porcello said. "I wasn't really disappointed, just kind of keep pitching and keep them off the board."
Kansas City second baseman Chris Getz was impressed with the outing.
"He wasn't giving us much, just had good command," Getz said.
Porcello has struggled this season - his ERA is 5.43 and he was sent to the minors for a short time - after going 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 2009 as a rookie.
"It's good to see him getting back to his old self and what he's capable of," Inge said. "We need him bad."
Inge explained why Porcello was successful.
"Getting strike one," he said. "He get so much movement, if he gets strike one, he can be so good."
Porcello explained his effectiveness.
"I think we [he and catcher Alex Avila] had a good combination of fastballs and sliders to keep them off-balance," he said. "For the most part, I was able to throw both of those for strikes.
Daniel Schlereth tossed a hitless eighth and Ryan Perry pitched the ninth.
Kila Ka'aihue homered for K.C., which was held to three hits.
Royals' starter Kyle Davies (6-8) gave up seven runs on 12 hits in 42/3 innings, walking three and striking out five.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first on Miguel Cabrera's sacrifice fly, which scored Austin Jackson. Jackson led off with a single, stole second and was sacrificed to third.
The Tigers made it 3-0 with two outs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Brennan Boesch and Avila.
Detroit then broke it open with four runs in the fifth. Raburn led off with his eighth home run, Jackson had a two-out RBI double and Will Rhymes followed with a two-run double to chase Davies.
The Tigers added two more in the sixth on Inge's sacrifice fly and Boesch's fielder's choice grounder.
NOTE: Detroit scored in the first inning for the sixth consecutive game. That's the longest such streak for the team since the Tigers scored in the first seven times from May 14-22, 1984, according to Stats LLC.
DETROIT - Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right ankle Wednesday.
The 36-year-old slugger, sidelined since July 25, was hitting .303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs before he was injured.
Ordonez, a free agent after this season because he will not be able to meet games and at-bat incentives which would have extended his deal, is expected to make a full recovery for 2011.
When asked the chances of the Tigers re-signing Ordonez for next season, Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said the team will not comment on the status of any player for 2011 during the remainder of this season.