Milt Wilcox celebrated his 32nd birthday tonight by allowing only one hit, a one-out single by Jerry Martin past fallen shortstop Alan Trammell with one out in the second inning, and rookie Glenn Wilson hit a two-run double in a six-run second inning as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-0.
It was the Tigers' fourth straight victory.
Wilcox (1-1), making his first start since April 12, when he left a game against Toronto complaining of lower back pain, struck out nine and walked five. He retired 12 straight batters from the third through the seventh innings.
Wilcox, who broke the index finger on his pitching hand last winter and feared his career might be over, said, "I told myself during spring training that the finger wasn't going to bother me. Tonight, the crooked finger actually seemed to help me with my split-finger forkball. It was my best pitch tonight. When I'd get two strikes, I threw that and they couldn't handle it.
"I felt good all night. You couldn't ask for a better birthday present."
Martin's single was a grounder to the left of second base. Trammell fell trying to field it, but the ball was several feet beyond him and it was questionable whether he could have thrown out the runner even had he come up with the ball.