Tigers close gap to one game with win over Royals

J.D. Martinez and the Tigers moved into a tie with Seattle for the second AL wild card. 

Elizabeth Conley/AP

DETROIT — Torii Hunter had two of his three hits in a six-run third inning and the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 9-5 Monday to move within a game of the American League Central-leading Royals.

Justin Verlander (13-12) allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four for Detroit, which moved into a tie with Seattle for the second AL wild card.

Nick Castellanos had two hits with two runs scored and two RBIs for the Tigers. Victor Martinez had three hits three hits and an RBI, and Hunter scored twice and drove in a ruin.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (10-11) allowed eight runs — six earned — and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Guthrie has given up 14 earned runs in his last 6 2/3 innings against Detroit.

Lorenzo Cain hit an inside-the-park home run for Kansas City in the seventh inning. Eric Hosmer had three hits with an RBI for the Royals.

The Tigers six-run third featured Martinez’s infield RBI single, run-scoring doubles by Don Kelly and Alex Avila, a two-run double by Castellanos and Hunter’s run-scoring single. It was Hunter’s second hit of the inning.

Detroit tied a season high with eight hits in the third. The last time it happened was in the fifth inning July 10 at Kansas City, a 16-4 win. That inning was also started by Guthrie.

Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-out bases-loaded two-base error by Hosmer, the first baseman, on Andrew Romine’s grounder. Hosmer bobbled the ball and then threw wildly to Guthrie, who was covering first. Romine wound up on second.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy, who missed his start Saturday in New York with shoulder soreness, had an MRI on Monday. It showed no structural damage. Kansas City manager Ned Yost said that Duffy should only miss one more start. "He’s in Kansas City going through three or four rounds of treatment every day," Yost said. … Closer Greg Holland, who hasn’t taken the team’s last two save opportunities due to an undisclosed injury, is getting closer to returning. Yost said Holland hasn’t thrown off the mound yet.

Tigers: RHP Joakim Soria (left oblique strain) threw 27 pitches in a simulated game and felt good. "Big step today. Hopefully, it feels good tomorrow," Soria said. Manager Brad Ausmus said Soria threw all of his pitches and that Soria looked strong. If Soria feels good on Tuesday, he will likely be activated on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Tuesday night’s starters are Jason Vargas (11-7, 3.14) for the Royals and Max Scherzer (15-5, 3.25) for the Tigers. Scherzer is 9-5 in his career against Kansas City.