Hochevar strong, Ankiel lifts Royals in 11th

Oakland Athletics vs Kansas City Royals/SPORTS

Rick Ankiel connected for a walk-off double in the bottom of the 11th inning to help the Royals defeat the Tigers 3-2. However just as importantly for the Royals may have been the strong outing from Luke Hochevar.

Hochevar, a 26-year-old right hander, held the Tigers scoreless for 7 2/3 innings on five hits. He had his fast ball working well into the game and held down what figures to be a good Tigers offense. It’s a good sight for a pitcher who was 7-13 with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP last season.

After an RBI single by Chris Getz in the bottom of the seventh The Royals held a 1-0 lead. They kept that lead going into the ninth but closer Joakim Soria gave up a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera. Carlos Guillen would drive in Don Kelly in the top of the 11th to give the Tigers the lead.

It didn’t take long for things to unravel for Detroit from there, Alberto Callaspo hit a solo home run of his own off Tigers closer Jose Valverde in the bottom of the frame to tie the game and the next batter Billy Butler reached on a single. Following the placement of Willie Bloomquist as a pinch runner outfielder Rick Ankiel stepped to the plate. Ankiel then ripped a double to right and the Royals were off to their first win of the year.