KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brady Singer finished his rookie season with a stellar performance, Alex Gordon wrapped up his long Royals career with a fond farewell and Kansas City ended its season Sunday with a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Adalberto Mondesi and Ryan McBroom homered for the Royals, who finished just above the Tigers in the AL Central in their first season under manager Mike Matheny.
“My regrets are that we have we don’t have 100 more games, because with what we are starting to put in place, the building blocks of a winning team, you are starting to see those come together,” Matheny said.
The Royals finished the season going 12-6 in an 18-game stretch to end the year, which was one of the best in the AL in that span.
Kansas City (26-34 ) has been fourth in the division in back-to-back seasons. The Royals haven’t reached postseason play since winning the World Series in 2015.
Detroit (23-35) finished last for the fourth time in six years. Lloyd McClendon wound up the season as the Tigers’ manager after Ron Gardenhire retired on Sept. 19.
“They gave us everything they had every day,” McClendon said.
“Some days were better than others, and that happens with young players, but they’re learning what preparation is all about and what it takes to get to the next level,” he said.
Gordon played the final game of his career and got a touching send-off.
“I grew up as a little kid just wanting to play this game,” the 36-year-old Gordon said. “I’m pretty fortunate to do it as long as I have.”
After striking out in the first, he took his spot in left field to begin the second. Gordon was then pulled and trotted off, hugging teammates and a Tigers opponent, and waving to his family watching in a private box at Kauffman Stadium.
Gordon retires as one of three players in Royals history to play 14 or more seasons with the franchise. Only Frank White and George Brett had longer tenures in Kansas City. Gordon won seven Gold Gloves.
Singer (4-5) allowed one run, on Brandon Dixon’s double, on three hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked none.
“In the first inning, I started to struggle there and went in an made a little mechanical adjustment and took off from there,” Singer said.
The right-hander turned it around to finish his rookie campaign with a win.
“Brady showed up and did his part today,” Matheny said. “It was one of my favorite starts of his because when he showed up after a rough one the last time out, he showed up today and didn’t necessarily have his location and he had to figure out a way to get it going.”
The Royals bullpen held the Tigers hitless in three innings. Jesse Hahn recorded his third save of the season.
Mondesi hit his sixth home run in the fourth, connecting off Tarik Skubel (1-4) to make it 1-all. McBroom hit a solo homer the next inning.
Mondesi doubled home a run in the eighth, his eighth RBI of the season’s final homestand.
Tigers: Open spring training play against Southeastern on Feb. 26 and start big league schedule the next day at the Yankees in Tampa, Florida.
Royals: Start exhibition play against Texas on Feb. 27 at the camp they share in Surprise, Arizona.
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