Royals 2, Tigers 1

Jeremy Guthrie became the latest Kansas City pitcher to give the

Tigers fits.

Guthrie pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Alex

Gordon homered to lead the Royals over Detroit 2-1 on Thursday

night for a three-game sweep.

Kansas City roughed up Justin Verlander in the opener and won

all three games by one run.

”Close ballgames, high intensity in the ninth inning, so it was

a good team win – all three of them,” Gordon said.

Prince Fielder had three hits for the slumping Tigers, who

remained three games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in

the AL Central. The teams begin an important three-game series

Friday night in Detroit.

Royals rookie Kelvin Herrera worked around a walk and a single

in the ninth to earn his first career save, coaxing slugger Miguel

Cabrera to ground into a game-ending double play.

”We scattered a lot of hits,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

”We couldn’t get the big hit. We got hits to lead off innings and

couldn’t do anything with them. We got two-out hits and that ended

it. We certainly had enough hits and we had a chance there at the

end.”

Guthrie’s big effort came one night after teammate Bruce Chen

beat the Tigers 1-0.

”Guthrie and Chen did a great job the past two nights,

especially against this offense. It’s pretty tough to do, to shut

them down to one run in 18 innings,” Gordon said. ”Our bullpen

came in and did the job again. The home run was a key at-bat and

gave us the win.”

Guthrie (3-3), who did not give up a hit to the White Sox until

the eighth inning on Aug. 19 in his previous Kauffman Stadium

start, held Detroit to one run on 10 hits – nine of them singles.

He walked none and struck out three.

”The biggest thing was I was able to keep nine of them to

singles and just allow the one extra-base hit. That was kind of the

big key in allowing the hits, but not the runs,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie has made eight starts for the Royals since they acquired

him in a July 20 trade with Colorado for left-hander Jonathan

Sanchez. He is 6-12 overall.

”Spectacular pitching again by Jeremy Guthrie,” Royals manager

Ned Yost said. ”Great defense, a huge double play to end the

ballgame. We had a couple of opportunities to add on, but two runs

was enough.”

Gordon hit his 10th homer leading off the sixth and extended his

hitting streak to eight games.

The Royals loaded the bases with none out in the fifth, but

converted that into just one run. Mike Moustakas doubled to start

the inning and Jeff Francoeur singled on the 10th pitch to snap an

0-for-19 streak. After Eric Hosmer walked to load the bases, Johnny

Giavotella’s groundout to shortstop Jhonny Peralta scored

Moustakas.

Rick Porcello (9-10) lost his fourth straight start, giving up

two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He struck out four

and walked two.

The Tigers snapped a 17-inning scoreless drought with a run in

the eighth when one-out singles by Fielder and Delmon Young chased

Guthrie. After reliever Tim Collins struck out pinch-hitter Jeff

Baker on three pitches, Peralta delivered a run-scoring single.

”My best? No, but I was able to throw strikes and work ahead in

the count,” Guthrie said. ”I was able to make good pitches after

I made some mistakes to get baserunners.”

Detroit went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and

stranded 11.

”We didn’t have a lot of runners in scoring position. We just

haven’t been able to hit a double with guys on. We can’t get that

gapper,” Leyland said.

NOTES: CF Jarrod Dyson was held out of the Royals’ lineup with a

sore right shoulder. … Tigers first base coach Tom Brookens

missed his second straight game for personal reasons, but is

expected to rejoin the club Friday in Detroit. … Tigers RHP Doug

Fister, who missed his previous start with a groin injury, will

return Friday and start against the White Sox. Rookie LHP Drew

Smyly, who has made 16 starts, moves to the bullpen with Fister

back in the rotation. RHP Jake Peavy will start for Chicago. …

Rookie LHP Will Smith will start for the Royals in the series

opener Friday against Minnesota. The Twins will counter with RHP

Cole De Vries.