Outfield collision for Tigers leads to inside-the-park home run for Royals
DETROIT — Getting a glove on it is not enough.
All too often, the Tigers outfielders haven’t even gotten a glove on long shots to the outfield this year, but Torii Hunter played a shot to the right-center field gap by Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain perfectly, watching as the ball settled into the web of his glove.
For a split second.
Then center fielder Don Kelly — starting just his fifth game in the middle outfield position this season — blasted into Hunter, his shoulder knocking the glove off the right fielder’s hand.
So close to a great play, and yet so far.
As the two outfielders scrambled for the ball — and various pieces of equipment — Cain scooted around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
It was the 95th inside-the-park home run in Royals history, and the first given up by the Tigers in a little more than a year.
Kelly’s collision with Hunter’s glove knocked the ball out, and all the way to the out-jutting wall. Kelly seemed unsure where it went, though, and appeared to go back for Hunter’s glove, before the right fielder — who’d hit his head on the ground in his fall — pointed it out to him.
Either way, Kelly had no chance to get Cain, who was flying around the bases.
Manager Brad Ausmus and head trainer Kevin Rand came out to check on Hunter, who tried to wave them off and stayed in the game, after a discussion.