KANSAS CITY, MO. (DETROIT FREE PRESS) — The Detroit Tigers had a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the seventh on Sunday, looking to finish off a four-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.
Justin Verlander had limited the Royals to two hits over the first six innings before giving up four consecutive singles in the seventh to Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, Raul Ibanez and Alcides Escobar.
That started a five-run inning for the Royals, who went on to beat the Tigers, 5-2, at Kauffman Stadium.
Verlander allowed six hits and four earned runs over 61⁄3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Ibanez snapped an 0-for-25 slump with his single in the seventh. Escobar's infield single scored Butler. Jarrod Dyson's ground out to second allowed Moustakas to tie the game, 2-2.
Salvador Perez, batting .467 in his careeroff Verlander, came in to pinch-hit. Ian Krol replaced Verlander and intentionally walked Perez, then got Nori Aoki to pop out to second. Al Alburquerque came in to face Omar Infante with the bases loaded and two outs and surrendered a two-run single to left to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. Phil Coke came in to pitch to Eric Hosmer and gave up a ground-rule double to make it 5-2.
The bullpen saw an 18-inning scoreless streak snapped.
Rajai Davis was 3-for-3 with a run scored, J.D. Martinez was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Austin Jackson went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Tigers.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, with a little help from the Royals. Bruce Chen gave up back-to-back singles to Davis and Jackson. With one out, Miguel Cabrera hit a shot to left-center that was caught on the warning track. Davis came home to score on the sac fly, giving Cabrera 75 RBIs at the All-Star break.
With two outs, J.D. Martinez hit a pop up to shallow left that somehow fell in between three Royals for a single, allowing Jackson to score all the way from first.
Contact George Sipple: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgesipple.