Tigers 5, Royals 4: Andy Dirks broke up a potential inning-ending double play, allowing pinch runner Don Kelly to score the winning run in the eighth as Detroit defeated visiting Kansas City.
Delmon Young reached on an infield hit with one out. Kelly ran for him, stole second and moved to third on Dirks’ single. Dirks took out Royals second baseman Irving Falu on Jhonny Peralta’s grounder off Kelvin Herrera (4-3) as the Tigers took a one-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. Chicago dropped a 6-4 decision to Cleveland.
Jose Valverde earned his 32nd save in the ninth, making Joaquin Benoit (4-3) the winner.
Alex Avila hit a two-run homer and Austin Jackson had a solo blast in the fourth as the Tigers came back to tie it 4-4. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon leaped over the fence to take away what would have been the go-ahead homer by Miguel Cabrera in the fifth.
The Royals scored three times in the third on RBI doubles by David Lough and Gordon, followed by an RBI single from Billy Butler. Jeff Francoeur stretched the lead to 4-1 with a solo homer in the fourth off Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who did not return for the fifth.
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed seven hits and four runs over seven innings. The right-hander retired 10 of the last 11 he faced.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Falu had three hits for the Royals. The rookie is 11-for-18 his last five games. … Kansas City is the only American League team Cabrera has not homered against this season. … Gordon had two doubles to give him 96 over the last two seasons, equaling the club record for two-base hits in back-to-back seasons set by Butler in 2009-10.