A two-run rally in the seventh inning gave the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals, the team chasing them in the American League Central division, Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Tigers extended their lead over the Royals to 2 1/2 games with eight days left in the regular season. The Tigers also lowered their magic number to clinch the division to seven.
Tyler Collins and Rajai Davis each lofted seventh-inning RBI singles to put Detroit ahead 3-1. J.D. Martinez scored the go-ahead run on Collins's single, and Eugenio Suarez came in on Dyson's hit.
Detroit got on the board fist when Torii Hunter led off the top of the fourth with a solo blast (17). Kansas City tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from Alcides Escobar, which drove in Jarrod Dyson.
The Royals pulled to within one run in the bottom of the eighth when Eric Hosmer singled home pinch runner Lane Adams with two outs; however, they could not bring Hosmer around to tie the game. The Royals left 10 total runners stranded throughout the game.
Max Scherzer (W:17-5, 3.19 ERA) pitched seven solid innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits. He also walked one and struck out six. Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan each pitched an inning in relief. Chamberlain allowed the eighth-inning run, and Nathan got out of a self-inflicted jam in the ninth to notch his 33rd save of the season.
James Shields (L: 14-8, 3.18) started and took the loss for Kansas City. He allowed all three of the Tigers' runs (all earned) on six hits, including Hunter's home run, in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six.
The final score hinged on a controversial call as the Royals batted in the bottom of the sixth. Kansas City's Omar Infante hit a line drive that Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler caught. Kinsler threw to second in attempt to double-up Hosmer off second. The throw got away. Salvador Perez, on third, broke for home and scored. However, he failed to re-touch the bag and tag up. The Tigers appealed the play but intially lost.
Umpires contacted New York, but a tag-up play is unreviewable. Then, after all four umpires discussed the play among themselves, they reversed the call, giving Detroit the out. That call took the go-ahead run off the board and ended the inning -- and the Royals' scoring threat.
The two teams will complete their three-game series Sunday afternoon with Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.19) on the mound for Detroit and Jeremy Guthrie (11-11, 4.35) pitching for Kansas City.
Following Sunday's game, Detroit begins a season-ending seven-game home stand, during which they will host the Chicago White Sox for three and the Minnesota Twins for four. Kansas City will travel to the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The two teams will complete the August 31 suspended game Monday afternoon before playing the regular Monday night game. Then, after two more in Cleveland, the Royals will end their season with a four-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.