Royals win 12-9, knock Tigers 1½ behind wild card

Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon, right, is congratulated by Paulo Orlando after they both scored on Gordon's two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/AP

DETROIT (AP) Salvador Perez homered to cap a cycle by Kansas City's first four batters of the game, and the Royals went deep three more times to beat Detroit 12-9 Sunday and drop the Tigers in the AL wild-card race.

The defending World Series champions avoided elimination from this year's postseason race by chasing Detroit starter Matt Boyd (6-5) before he retired a hitter. Kansas City started the game with a single, a triple and a double before Perez's two-run homer made it 4-0.

The Tigers fell 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot. The loss cut Cleveland's magic number to clinch the AL Central to one – the Indians start a four-game series in Detroit on Monday night.