DETROIT (AP) -- If Brian Bannister were a lefty, people would call him crafty. Instead, he'll have to settle for effective.
Bannister vs. Royals
Brian Bannister is only in his second season in the majors, but he has figured out the Tigers.
Bannister stymied the Detroit Tigers' heralded offense Wednesday, allowing two singles in seven innings as the Kansas City Royals won 4-0."That's a very good lineup, and they are going to score a lot of runs, but I also know that they have a lot more expectations than we do," Bannister said. "That's why I wanted to put them under pressure early."Bannister doesn't try for a lot of strikeouts, preferring to induce grounders and fly balls."I get criticized for the way I pitch, but I believe in it, and it's working," said Bannister, who went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA as a rookie last season.Kansas City is 2-0 for the second time in 28 years. The Royals won their first nine games in 2003 en route to their only winning season since 1993."This isn't the time to get cocky," new manager Trey Hillman said. "Banny pitched very well today, and this is a nice start, but that's still a very good team and we've got to face them again tomorrow."Detroit's high-paid attack has only scored four runs in 20 innings. The Tigers moved one runner into scoring position Wednesday and are hitting .191 with 19 strikeouts through two games."If we got shut out by someone who was hanging breaking balls and leaving pitches in the middle of the plate, I'd be concerned," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But when a guy locates like he did today, that's the way it goes. You aren't going to wear out good pitching that locates. You've got to take advantage of mistakes, and we didn't do that."Edgar Renteria had Detroit's only hits, all singles."He was always strike one on everybody, and when you do that, you get in a rhythm," said Gary Sheffield, who went 0-for-3. "Let's just hope that was the last shutout. We'll turn around."Bannister (1-0) gave up leadoff singles to Renteria in the first and fourth innings, didn't walk a batter and struck out four. Leo Nunez and Joakim Soria each threw a scoreless inning of relief."I haven't gone farther than this yet this spring, and the way our bullpen is throwing, I'm happy to hand the ball to those guys," Bannister said.Kenny Rogers (0-1) dropped to 0-5 in nine starts since he beat Cleveland on July 4. He allowed two runs and five hits in six innings."I'm disappointed that I didn't hold us in there close enough, but all in all, those are the type of results you'll take every time out," he said. "Over the season, this is an outing that I'll win a few times."Rogers matched Bannister for the first five innings, allowing only a pair of singles, but got into trouble in the sixth.Mark Grudzielanek doubled with one out, improving to 12-for-20 (.600) against Rogers. Jose Guillen doubled with two outs and Billy Butler hit a 400-foot double to center for a 2-0 lead."The second run was not very good pitching," Rogers said. "It was a dumb pitch, and Butler crushed it."Kansas City added two more runs in the eighth. Zach Miner struck out Alex Gordon and Guillen with runners on the corners, but Butler and Mark Teahen followed with RBI singles."If you can keep scoring runs with two out, you'll be a pretty good ballclub," Butler said. "Banny was so good today that when we finally got some runs, it seemed huge."
The Royals will have a 24-man active roster until Saturday, when catcher Miguel Olivo finishes serving the last four games of a five-game suspension he picked up while playing for Florida last season. ... Center fielder Curtis Granderson is scheduled to have X-rays on his broken hand this weekend. Granderson has been out since being hit by a pitch on March 22. ... The win was Bannister's 13th as a Royal, three fewer than his father Floyd won for Kansas City in 1988-89. Overall, Brian trails his father 134-15. ... Floyd Bannister and Rogers were teammates with Texas in 1992.