Bannister (1-0) passed his first test of the season by completely mastering the Tigers' powerful lineup to help the Kansas City Royals improve to 2-0 on the young season with a 4-0 shutout victory at Comerica Park. The second-year right-hander pitched seven innings, yielding just two singles to Edgar Renteria, while striking out four and walking none.
Kansas City also was struggling offensively against Tigers' starter Kenny Rogers, but a series of doubles by Mark Grudzielanek, Jose Guillen, and Billy Butler plated two runs in the sixth to stake the Royals to a 2-0 lead. Butler's double would have been a home run in most ballparks, as he drove the ball more than 410 feet to center field.
In the eighth, the Royals stretched the lead to 4-0. Joey Gathright led off the inning by doubling down the left field line, followed by a walk issued to Grudzielanek. Gathright then scored on an infield single by Butler, and Grudzielanek scampered home to score on an RBI single to center by Mark Teahen.
Gathright and Butler each went 2-for-4 with a double, with Butler driving in a pair of runs, and Grudzielanek scoring twice for the Royals, who are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2003.
Leo Nunez took over for Bannister and surrendered a one-out walk, before getting out of the frame by getting Ivan Rodriguez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Joakim Soria struck out the side in the ninth to close out the victory for KC, which will attempt to sweep Detroit on Thursday when right-hander Zack Greinke makes his first start of the season by facing Tigers' righty Jeremy Bonderman. First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. Central.
Brian Bannister Photo Credit: Tony Dejak/AP