Cole Ragans allows 1 hit, strikes out 12 in Royals' 8-3 win over Tigers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Cole Ragans allowed one hit in six innings and Freddy Fermin drove in three runs as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Wednesday for a series sweep.

Ragans (4-3) struck out a career-best 12 while holding the Tigers hitless until Riley Greene’s two-out single in the sixth.

“In the fourth inning I kind of had an idea what was going on,” Ragans said of the no-hit bid. “We kept having a good mix and going after guys.”

“I was looking at the pitch count, not the hits,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “In the sixth I started to do the math. When I saw it was no hits, then I’m starting to think how far can we take this.”

Ragans fanned seven of the first ten batters.

“His stuff was great right out of the gate,” Quatraro said. “We know how good (his changeup) is. He’s getting swing-and-miss on the fastball. They had to honor the changeup, so he got them in between, ringing up a lot of strikeouts early.”

“He’s got a good heater with some run,” Greene said. “He was commanding with his heater and threw his slider off it.”

The Royals opened the scoring on Fermin’s second-inning RBI double off the top of the left-centerfield wall. One out later, Garrett Hampson followed with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead.

“Freddy’s been swinging the bat really well,” Quatraro. “He put a great swing on that pitch and Hampson had a great at-bat. I’m really happy for those guys.”

Nelson Velázquez hit his fourth home run into the left-field fountains to lead off the fourth.

Kansas City took a 4-0 lead in the fifth on three consecutive singles with Vinnie Pasquantino’s RBI hit scoring Maikel Garcia, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Tarik Skubal (6-1) threw five innings, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

“They did a tremendous job of putting the ball in play when they needed to,” said Tigers manager A.J. Hinch. “They used the middle of the field a lot, they put the ball in play, they did some damage. They put a good attack plan on him.”

The loss snapped Skubal’s 14-game unbeaten streak dating to Aug. 29 last year.

“They had some good at-bats and fouled off some good pitches,” Skubal said. “Too many pitchers’ counts led to 3-2 counts and that’s a credit to their hitters. I’ve got to be better at finishing those at-bats.”

Andy Ibáñez cut the deficit to 4-2 with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh.

Bobby Witt Jr. and Fermin delivered two-run hits in the bottom half of the frame, extending the lead to 8-2.

The Royals won their first series against the Tigers since September 2022. It was Kansas City’s first sweep of Detroit since July 2021.

The Royals have won six straight.

“The boys are playing some ball and we are really enjoying this,” Fermin said.

Colt Keith recorded seven of the Tigers’ 19 hits in the series.

Detroit has lost four straight.

UP NEXT

Tigers RHP Jack Flaherty (1-3, 3.79 ERA) opposes Blue Jays (undecided) on Thursday in Detroit.

Royals RHP Seth Lugo (7-1, 1.79) opposes Rays (undecided) on Friday in Tampa.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb