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Tigers offense quiet in doubleheader sweep

Friday - 8/16/2013, 11:52pm  ET

Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson hits a fly ball for the second out in the eighth inning during the first game of a doubleheader baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Detroit. The Royals defeated the Tigers 2-1. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers allowed only five earned runs in 18 innings on Friday.

It still resulted in two losses.

James Shields allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings and was part of a combined four-hit shutout in Kansas City's 3-0 win on Friday night to give the Royals a sweep of the day-night doubleheader.

Kansas City won the first game 2-1 as Danny Duffy took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and pitched a combined two-hitter.

Despite having a run and six hits combined in the two games, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he isn't worried about his AL Central-leading club.

"It's not a concern. We got what we got. It's pretty simple," he said. "Both teams got great pitching, and we didn't must enough offense."

The Royals gained two games on Detroit to move within 6½ games of the Tigers.

"Huge day for us. Shields came back and, basically, matched the outing that Duffy had," said Eric Hosmer, who homered in each game.

Jose Alvarez (1-3), called up from Triple-A Toledo to make the start, took the loss in the second game. He gave up two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five.

Alvarez's only big mistakes came in the third with two outs. He walked Jamey Carroll and Hosmer followed with his second home run of the day, that gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. Hosmer blasted Alvarez's 1-1 change-up deep into the right-field stands for his 14th homer.

"I felt good, but I made one big mistake," Alvarez said. "I'm here to win games for this team, and I didn't do that, so I'm disappointed."

Alvarez was replaced by Jeremy Bonderman with two outs in the sixth. Bonderman got the final out of that inning and the first two outs of the seventh before being replaced by Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque.

Shields (8-8) won his fourth game in his past five starts. He walked four and struck out one.

"Tonight I was pounding the strike zone but just missing with some of my pitches," Shields said. " ... I've been pitching well all season. I've got a lot of quality starts. That's what I care about, not wins and losses."

The Tigers threatened against Shields in the second and third innings.

In the second, a walk to Andy Dirks and Brayan Pena's single gave Detroit runners on first and second with one out.

But Shields got both Ramon Santiago and Jose Iglesias to hit pop-ups to the shortstop to get out of the inning.

But the biggest potential rally came in the third when the right-hander walked Austin Jackson to lead off the third inning and Torii Hunter singled him to second.

But Shields retired the next three hitters, using mostly his change-up.

Miguel Cabrera was retired on weak roller to Shields between the mound and first base on which the runners moved up to second and third.

But Prince Fielder hit a short fly ball to left fielder Alex Gordon. Despite Jackson's speed, it wasn't nearly deep enough for him to score.

Shields then got Victor Martinez to line out to right to end the inning.

"It's huge, especially with their lineup and who was coming up," Shields said. "You've got Miggy, Fielder and Victor, whose one of the hottest hitters in the league ... and Miggy, the best hitter in the league."

Leyland praised Shields' effort against his team's offense.

"They traded one of the game's best prospects (Wil Myers) for him, and now you see why," the Tigers manager said.

Carroll's sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 3-0. It was an unearned run off Bonderman, whose throwing error on an attempted pickoff throw sent Chris Getz from first to third. He scored on the sac fly.

Luke Hochevar pitched a perfect eighth and Greg Holland worked the ninth, allowing a hit, for his 34th save. He had saves in both games of the doubleheader.

Duffy (1-0) beat Justin Verlander in the opener.

Duffy was called up from Triple-A Omaha to make his second big league start of the season, and didn't allow a hit until Cabrera's hard-hit, two out single in the sixth.

"I was glad that they finally got one, honestly, because I just wanted to pitch," said Duffy, who underwent Tommy John surgery. "I wanted to protect this arm."

Kelvin Herrera replaced Duffy in the seventh and retired the side in order. Aaron Crow worked the eighth and allowed Santiago's pinch-hit home run leading off the inning. Crow got the next three batters.

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