Tigers 3, Royals 1: Miguel Cabrera's RBI single broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth, and the American League Central-leading Tigers beat the Royals for the second night in a row.
For the second straight game, the Royals got a strong outing from their starter but were unable to provide enough support. Left-hander Bruce Chen went seven-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out seven.
Chen (0-1) retired 13 in a row before allowing a single to Andy Dirks - the last batter he faced - leading off the eighth.
Dirks advanced to second on Brennan Boesch's single and scored when Cabrera singled up the middle against reliever Greg Holland. Prince Fielder followed with a third consecutive single to add an insurance run.
Tigers starter Drew Smyly threw six strong innings in his second major-league start, holding the Royals to one run on seven hits while striking out four.
Octavio Dotel (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless seventh, and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his second save.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Dotel earned his first win with Detroit. The Tigers are his 13th major-league team, and he has at least one win for 10 of them. … Slumping OF Alex Gordon went 1-for-4 with an RBI for the Royals, raising his average 12 points to .140.