Royals rally past Tigers to avoid sweep
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Omar Infante's two-run single in the seventh inning handed the Kansas City Royals a 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in the finale of a four-game set from Kauffman Stadium.
Detroit starter Justin Verlander limited the Royals to just two hits through six innings until the bats awoke in the seventh.
Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Raul Ibanez all singled to load the bases with no outs. Alcides Escobar followed with an RBI infield single and Jarrod Dyson tied the game with an RBI groundout.
Ian Krol was then called upon to get out of the jam. After intentionally walking pinch-hitter Salvador Perez, Krol got Nori Aoki to pop out to second base to keep the game knotted at 2-2.
Al Alburquerque came on for Krol to face Infante, who a laced a single through the hole on the left side that plated a pair and gave the Royals the lead.
The bullpen carousel continued to turn for Detroit, as Phil Coke entered and allowed a ground-rule double to Eric Hosmer that added another run. Billy Butler was intentionally walked to load the bases before Moustakas grounded out to end the frame.
Yordano Ventura (7-7), who is a part of the Royals' starting rotation, got some work out of the pen prior to the All-Star break and earned the win.
Greg Holland hurled a scoreless ninth to wrap up his 25th save of the season.
The victory was much needed for Kansas City, which entered the series 4 1/2 games back of Detroit for first place in the AL Central before dropping the first three tilts of this pivotal set.
Verlander (8-8) was charged with four runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
Detroit had its five-game winning streak snapped.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the third with a two-run frame. Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Ian Kinsler lined out to Royals starter Bruce Chen, then Miguel Cabrera just missed a three-run homer and had to settle for a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left.
J.D. Martinez followed with a skied pop up that dropped in between Ibanez and Escobar. Jackson raced around to score on the play and stake the Tigers to a 2-0 lead.
Ibanez snapped an 0-for-25 slump with his single to center in seventh ... Chen made his first start since April 24 and it was his third appearance after missing two months with a lower back injury. The left-hander went 5 1/3 innings and limited the Tigers to two runs on eight hits in the no-decision ... Chen is one win shy of tying Mariano Rivera for most wins by a Panamanian- born pitcher ... Kansas City went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
07/13 17:30:43 ET