KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — James Shields is known as "Big Game James." The Kansas City Royals had a big game Friday night to keep their slim hopes alive in the wild-card standings.
Shields, however, responded with one of the worst outings of his career.
Omar Infante set career highs with five hits and six RBIs, Andy Dirks also went 5 for 5 and the Detroit Tigers pounded the Royals 16-2.
Austin Jackson drove in four runs as the Tigers finished with a season-high 26 hits. Dirks, who is hitting .410 against Kansas City this season, scored four times.
Shields (10-9), who was 4-0 in his previous five starts, was charged with 10 runs and 14 hits in 3 2-3 innings in his shortest start of the season. The runs and hits matched career-worst totals for the right-hander.
"It was not a good outing," Shields said. "I actually went back and looked at the video, and a lot of my pitches they were hitting were below the strike zone. That's a good hitting team over there, and I didn't do my job tonight. You've got to move forward, but it was a terrible job by me."
Royals manager Ned Yost thought Shields had his best fastball in a month.
"If you want to take something positive out of this, that's a good thing," Shields said. "But tonight I didn't do my job. It was one of those nights where everything just kept going. Balls were finding holes everywhere they hit the balls. You've got to tip your cap and move on."
The last team to collect 14 hits against Shields was the Tigers on June 28, 2012, in 7 2-3 innings.
"They are a smart team," Yost said. "They can really swing the bats. It looked to me like they were really sitting soft, and when they got it, they didn't miss it."
Infante had run-producing singles in the second, fourth and seventh innings and a three-run double in the fifth. That was more than enough support for Anibal Sanchez (13-7), who allowed one run in seven innings while lowering his AL-best ERA to 2.61.
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