Tigers 4, Royals 3(10)

Brennan Boesch came through too late for Rick Porcello. His hit

came just in time for the Detroit Tigers, though.

Boesch hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning to give the

Detroit Tigers a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday

night.

”I just didn’t want to do too much,” Boesch said. ”I just

wanted to make sure I was under control and just try to play pepper

back up the middle. I wanted to do that.”

The Tigers extended their lead in the AL Central to four games

over the Cleveland Indians, who lost in extra innings around the

same time the Tigers were winning.

Porcello, who had won his previous five starts, took a 3-0 lead

into the seventh.

”Every time he goes out there now, we really feel we’re going

to win,” Boesch said. ”He’s really been pitching well. He’s been

growing all season long, getting better as the year goes on. That’s

what we need from him. He’s stepping up big.

Wilson Betemit led off the 10th with a walk and pinch-runner

Andy Dirks took second on a wild pitch by Aaron Crow (3-3) with one

out.

Daniel Schlereth (1-1) worked two scoreless innings and Jose

Valverde pitched the bottom of the 10th for his 31st straight

save.

Manager Jim Leyland pulled Porcello after he gave up a run on

three singles with one out in the seventh.

”I feel bad for Rick,” Leyland said. ”He deserved to get a

win. He was fantastic. I’m sorry he didn’t get a win.”

Austin Jackson and Boesch opened the game with back-to-back

triples in the Tigers’ two-run first inning. Alex Avila tacked on a

solo homer in the fifth.

Johnny Giavotella made his debut for the Royals and hit an RBI

single before scoring the tying run on Alcides Escobar’s single in

the seventh.

Royals starter Felipe Paulino gave up three runs and six hits in

6 2-3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.

Rick Porcello had a string of wins in five straight starts

snapped. He left with one out in the seventh after giving up

Giavotella’s RBI single.

Phil Coke came on, gave up an RBI single to Mike Moustakas, and

left. David Pauley gave up Escobar’s tying hit to center field.

”The team got the win and that’s the biggest thing,” Porcello

said. ”Obviously, it’s nice for yourself personally to get a win,

but we got the win and started the series off to a good start.

That’s the bottom line, the most important thing. I definitely had

plenty left in tank. The skipper wanted to go with a lefty-lefty

matchup. That’s his call.”

Giavotella went 2 for 3 in his big league debut, with a double,

a walk a steal and a run in addition to his RBI single.

”I had some jitters coming into the game, some butterflies here

and there, but after that first ground ball I calmed down and felt

comfortable out there,” Giavotella said. ”On the double, I looked

up into the stands and saw my dad. He gave a little fist pump and I

gave one back to him. It was a nice moment.”

Notes: The Tigers began a stretch Friday where they are playing

12 of 15 games against AL Central opponents. .Tigers 1B Miguel

Cabrera singled in the fourth for his 80th hit in 65 games against

the Royals. .Royals DH Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to

11 games with a seventh inning leadoff single. . The Royals

optioned INF Yamaico Navarro, who they acquired in a trade to Omaha

to make roster space for Giavotella. .The Royals fell to 10-7 in

extra-inning games. .RHP Justin Verlander, who starts Saturday, is

seven strikeouts shy of tying Denny McClain (1,150) for ninth place

on the Tigers career list. Verlander will be seeking his 99th

career win. . LHP Danny Duffy, scheduled to start for the Royals on

Saturday, has struck out 40 in 37 1-3 innings in his past six

starts. In his first six, Duffy struck out just 20 in 30 1-3

innings in his first six starts.