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The Score: Tigers 7 – Royals 3

The Gist: Dontrelle Willis‘s much-anticipated 2010 debut arrived and he was … fine. In the first inning he threw just eight strikes versus 13 balls. He walked his first hitter on four straight. But after allowing another first-inning walk, he didn’t yield another one. In six innings he allowed seven hits and struck out four.

Seven hits between Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera alone paced the offense, each hitting a homer; Cabrera’s three-run shot in the eighth gave the Tigers their first lead and the bullpen made it hold up. Austin Jackson stroked two doubles.

The Quote: “They had me on the ropes. But with the encouragement of my team I was able to battle, make some good pitches and get us back in the dugout.” — Willis, on his shaky first inning.

The Stat: 61 – The percentage of Willis’ 88 pitches thrown for strikes.

Up Next: Tigers vs. Indians – Rick Porcello vs LHP David Huff | 1:05 p.m ET | FSD & WJBK/1270 & 97.1

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