De La Rosa bombed in return to rotation as Royals lose 7-2 to Tigers

DETROIT _ Well, OK, the Royals wanted to get a late-season look at left-hander Jorge De La Rosa as a starter. On Sunday, he gave them an eyeful in a 7-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. In just one inning.

De La Rosa allowed four runs in the first inning _ the only one he pitched. That effectively ended any drama because the Royals, as usual, rolled over like mown grass against Tigers starter Justin Verlander.

Marcus Thames paced Detroit’s seven-hit attack with two homers. His two-run shot capped the four-run first against De La Rosa. His leadoff homer in the third came against Luke Hochevar.

Thames has four multi-homer games in his career; three against the Royals.

Ryan Raburn hit a leadoff homer in the eighth against Leo Nuñez.

Verlander, 18-6, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and improved to 6-0 in eight career starts against the Royals.

Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya closed out the victory.

The Royals, 67-88, lost for the 13th time in their last 18 games and fell one game behind Chicago, 68-87, in their bid to avoid a fourth straight last-place finish. The White Sox played Sunday at Minnesota.

De La Rosa, 8-12, retired the leadoff hitter before surrendering four straight hits: A single by Placido Polanco, an RBI double by Raburn, an RBI single by Carlos Guillen and Thames’ two-run homer.

It was all part of a 42-pitch inning, which ensured a brief outing for De La Rosa because he was on a 60-65-pitch limit for his first big-league start since July 31.

One inning was enough, apparently.

Hochevar took over in the second inning and yielded two runs and two hits in 3 1/3 innings. One run was unearned when the Royals committed two infield errors in the second inning.

The Royals scored in the second on Billy Butler’s leadoff homer. Mark Teahen’s leadoff double in the sixth turned into their other run.

De La Rosa spent nearly six weeks on the disabled list because of a strained left forearm before being activated Sept. 10. He made three-inning relief appearance Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s start.

To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4352 or send email to