Royals' Morales hits 3 homers to beat Tigers, 10-3

DETROIT — It’s like a see-saw, this season that Alfredo Simon has pitched, according to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

Some starts, he’s good. Others, he’s bad. One time, he was really good. A lot of times, he has been really bad.

And for the first time in three games this weekend, when the team at the top of the American League Central played the team at the bottom of the division Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park, it showed which stood where.

After a pair of walk-off wins, Simon and the Tigers were ransacked by the Royals, 10-3, in a long and drawn out losing effort that was as close competitively as the two teams are in the standings.

Simon was awful, allowing eight earned runs to tie a career-high, surrendering 13 hits in 41/3 innings. The veteran right-hander dug the Tigers a deep hole, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk in the first inning, three more in the third — Kendrys Morales and Paulo Orlando homered — another on Morales’ second home run of the game in the fourth and two in the fifth.

“He was up,” Ausmus said. “He was up all day long, around the belt, and that’s really not where you want it anytime when you’re pitching. Sometimes you get away with a pop-up or fly ball, but the Royals took advantage of it.”

They took advantage of Simon and right-handed relievers Jose Valdez and Jeff Ferrell — each allowed a run in their outings — and nobody took advantage of it more than Morales, who became the first opponent to hit three home runs in a game at Comerica Park.

Morales recorded 15 total bases to set a Royals franchise mark — he went 4-for-4, driving in three runs and scoring five times — and tied the most total bases in a single game in the AL this season.

But, Ausmus said, matter-of-factly about the Royals’ run-scoring efforts: “They had 19 hits, so it wasn’t just him.”

After a solid start against the Twins last Monday, Simon tanked early and only lasted as late as he did because of the team’s two extra-inning games that preceded the poor effort and the day-night doubleheader that follows.

“He had to eat some innings up,” Ausmus said.

Simon struck out three and walked three over 102 pitches, taking his 10th loss.

Offensively, the Tigers struggled against right-hander Kris Medlen, who allowed three unearned runs on five hits over five innings in his sixth start of the season.

In the third inning, they scored on RBI singles from Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos to cut the Royals’ lead to two but never came any closer.

Anthony Gose upped his on-base streak to 16 games — he went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks — and no Tiger recorded multiple hits as Simon recorded his worst start of the season.

“He’s been really good and then there’s been days where he’s been really bad,” Ausmus said. “For whatever reason, it seems like from start-to-start, we’re not sure of which Alfredo will show up. Sometimes he can come out and dominate and sometimes he can have trouble getting the ball down in the zone.”

And Sunday afternoon was one of those times.

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