DETROIT (AP) — Rookie Lucas French outdueled Zack Greinke and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Wednesday night.
French (1-0) beat Greinke in just his second career start, holding the Royals to one run and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Three Tigers relievers finished, with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his 19th save in as many tries.
Greinke (10-5) gave up three runs, all in the first two innings, and seven hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Billy Butler had three doubles for the Royals.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first, helped by Kansas City's first defensive mistake. Curtis Granderson walked and Placido Polanco singled to left. Polanco took a large turn, then easily moved to second as David DeJesus threw toward the plate.
Marcus Thames drove in the first run with a ground out, and Clete Thomas singled to second to make it 2-0.
Detroit added a third run in the second when Josh Anderson doubled, took third when Greinke couldn't handle Gerald Laird's bunt single, and scored on Ramon Santiago's sacrifice fly.
Greinke struck out eight batters in the next four innings, but the Royals couldn't take advantage until Alberto Callaspo's seventh-inning homer.
NOTES: Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before the game that Thomas and Magglio Ordonez will platoon in right field, with Thomas playing against right-handed pitchers and Ordonez against lefties. ... The Tigers and the Phillies announced a "Vote Bran Torino" campaign, where the teams would work together to campaign for Brandon Inge and Shane Victorino for the "Final Vote" to pick the last All-Star for each league. "I thought this was going to be a simple vote, and they'd just tell me Thursday who won," an amused Inge said. "I never expected this kind of hype." ... Greinke was 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his previous two starts at Comerica Park.