May 1, 2012
The bizarre play happened in the ninth inning. Francoeur hit a
drive to left-center that hit the top of the fence and bounced
straight into the air. Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson reached
over the wall and into the Kansas City bullpen and caught the ball,
saving a homer.
At that point, second-base umpire Tim McClelland -- umpiring his
4,000th game -- mistakenly called Francoeur out before realizing his
mistake. A baffled Francoeur stopped running between second and
third, and was tagged out by Detroit's Ramon Santiago.
"I was confused as heck, because I was pretty sure that you
weren't supposed to be out when someone catches the ball off the
wall," Francoeur said. "I had just been upset that Jackson caught
it and cost me a home run. Tim immediately apologized to me and
made the play right."
McClelland acknowledged his error, saying he had been focused on
whether the ball was a home run or not.
"You would think that a guy with 4,000 games would have enough
experience to not do something like that," he said, comparing the
final decision to an inadvertent whistle in basketball.
No matter what McClelland had called, it wouldn't have been
enough for the Royals to overcome Luke Hochevar's terrible start.
Hochevar (2-2) allowed nine runs in four innings, including five in
"I put us in a 5-0 hole in one inning, and that's tough for the
guys to crawl out of," he said. "I didn't execute quality
pitches. It's about as simple as that."
Rick Porcello (2-2) took advantage of the offensive support to
snap out of his slump, allowing three runs and seven hits. In his
previous two starts, the right-hander was 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA, but
things changed after a mechanical adjustment suggested by Tigers
pitching coach Jeff Jones.
"Jonesy just suggested something to slow down my delivery,"
Porcello said. "My biggest problem has been my tempo -- I'm getting
out too quick and leaving pitches up in the zone. Today, we slowed
Austin Jackson had four hits for the Tigers, matching a career
high and raising his batting average to .314. Jackson, who hit .249
with 181 strikeouts last year, is only the second Tiger since 1918
to have three four-hit games this early in the season.
"I'm not sure what is causing it, I'm just trying to time the
ball and put good swings up," he said. "I'm doing my best to get
into scoring position and let the guys behind me do their jobs."
The teams were rained out Monday night, Kansas City's second
rainout in three days. The Royals have lost two straight following
a three-game winning streak that came on the heels of a 12-game
"That's two straight terrible games after rainouts," Royals
manager Ned Yost said. "I hope we get some good weather for a
After the Royals went down in order in the first, the Tigers put
their first seven batters on base and needed just 17 pitches to do
it. After two singles and Miguel Cabrera's double made it 1-0, Eric
Hosmer's wild throw from first base to the plate allowed two more
runs to score.
The next three Tigers singled, increasing the margin to 5-0,
before Ramon Santiago grounded into a double play and Don Kelly
popped out to end the inning.
Detroit added three more runs in the third on an RBI single by
Kelly and Jackson's two-run double before Jhonny Peralta made it
9-0 with a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Kansas City got on the board with an RBI groundout by Humberto
Quintero in the fifth, and Alex Gordon made it 9-2 with a double in
the sixth. Jarrod Dyson led off the eighth with a stand-up triple
and scored on Gordon's groundout.