KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yordano Ventura struck out 11 over seven sharp innings, the Royals hit four home runs and Kansas City rolled to a 12-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
Kendrys Morales hit a three-run shot, Cheslor Cuthbert added his first career homer, and Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain also went deep as the AL Central leaders cranked out 14 hits.
Ventura (10-7) walked one and hit one while matching a career high for strikeouts set in his last start. The 24-year-old with the 100 mph fastball has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last five outings, and is 6-0 since his last defeat July 20 against Pittsburgh.
Randy Wolf (0-3) gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings for Detroit, though he did last longer than Miguel Cabrera. The slugger was tossed by third base umpire Gary Cederstrom after fanning in the third inning, and after a quarrel with plate umpire Quinn Wolcott proved fruitless.
Even before Cabrera hit the showers, the Detroit hitters were sputtering.
After the Tigers put runners on the corners with one out in the first, Ventura allowed just one of the next 13 batters he faced to reach base. Ventura didn’t give up a run until the sixth, when Anthony Gose hit a leadoff triple and scored on Ian Kinsler’s groundout.
By that point, the Royals already led 12-0.
Zobrist homered in the first to give Kansas City the lead, and Cuthbert — called up Tuesday when rosters expanded — added a two-run double in the second. Cain’s home run in the third and a five-run fourth inning highlighted by Morales’ towering shot to center made it a rout.
Cuthbert added his two-run homer during a three-run fifth.
Just about the only thing that didn’t go right for Kansas City was when Cain fouled a pitch off his left calf in the fourth inning. He was checked out by trainer Nick Kenney and manager Ned Yost and remained in the game, and promptly hit a two-run double.
Cain was replaced by Jarrod Dyson for precautionary reasons in the fifth.
With the game out of hand, both teams substituted as liberally as they would in a spring training game.
Left-hander Scott Alexander made his big league debut in the ninth for Kansas City, while Rajai Davis — who had been bothered by a finger injury — got into the game for Detroit.
Tigers: RHP Al Alburquerque (hip) had a precautionary MRI exam Wednesday, manager Brad Ausmus said. The reliever has not pitched since Aug. 24.
Royals: RHP Ryan Madson (weak arm) hopes to return this week, manager Ned Yost said. Madson last pitched Aug. 22. … 3B Mike Moustakas (hamstring) got his second straight night off. "He’s feeling well. Better," Yost said.
Tigers: LHP Matt Boyd starts the series finale against Kansas City, though Ausmus declined to say who would start Friday night against Cleveland. LHP Kyle Ryan could get the nod.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (12-7) has lost twice to the Tigers this season, including a 2-1 defeat when David Price was on the mound for Detroit on May 2.