Perez, Moustakas homer to lift Royals over Tigers 8-2
DETROIT (AP) — There was no way any Detroit outfielder was going to catch this drive by Salvador Perez.
A night after he was robbed of an extra-base hit by the center fielder, Perez hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Kansas City Royals went on to an 8-2 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday. Mike Moustakas followed Perez’s long home run by going deep as well, part of a four-run fourth inning by the Royals.
Perez’s shot cleared the Kansas City bullpen and hit the brick facing behind the seats. It was measured at 451 feet by Statcast.
“I hit it pretty good,” Perez said.
Ian Kennedy (2-6) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for the Royals, earning his second victory in three starts. He gave up solo homers to Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila, but only after Kansas City had jumped to a 5-0 lead.
Daniel Norris (4-6) permitted five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. Six of those hits came in the fourth.
“I’ve got to find a way to keep out of those big innings,” Norris said. “There have been games that have felt better, but this is two bad starts in a row now. I got through six innings in Seattle, but I gave up five, and then today I don’t even get through four and give up five. I have to be better than that.”
The Royals snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 16-8 in June.
Perez’s deep fly ball the previous night was caught by Mikie Mahtook on a spectacular play in right-center. He gave the Tigers no chance to run down his homer to left-center on Wednesday, which came on a 3-0 pitch. Moustakas followed with his 20th home run of the season, giving the Royals a 4-0 lead.
“One homer is good,” Perez said. “Back-to-back feels better.”
Alex Gordon, who had opened the scoring with an RBI single an inning earlier, added a run-scoring double in the fourth to make it 5-0.
Avila led off the bottom of the fourth with his 11th homer, and Cabrera hit his 10th two innings later.
Gordon hit a run-scoring groundout in the eighth. Perez added an RBI double in the ninth and scored on Jorge Soler’s single.
BOTTOM OF THE ORDER
Gordon, the No. 9 hitter for Kansas City, had his first multi-RBI game since April 8. Alcides Escobar, batting one spot ahead of Gordon, had three hits.
“For me, Esky and Gordy at the bottom of the order were huge,” manager Ned Yost said. “Esky three hits, Gordy with three RBIs — a big night for them.”
After Norris was pulled in the fourth, Warwick Saupold came on and allowed just one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“He really saved the bullpen again today,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s done that for us a few times lately, but it was crucial this time with the doubleheader (against Cleveland) coming up on Saturday.”
Royals: Kansas City put IF Cheslor Cuthbert on the 10-day DL with a left wrist sprain. The move was retroactive to Monday. The Royals recalled Soler from Triple-A Omaha.
Tigers: Detroit activated DH Victor Martinez, who had been on the DL because of an irregular heartbeat. Martinez came out of a June 15 game with a racing heartbeat, dizziness and cold sweats and eventually went to the hospital when the symptoms continued. “We don’t feel like this is going to be an issue going forward,” Ausmus said. “Hopefully, it’s just a one-time event that never occurs again.”
Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (2-1) starts the finale of this three-game series Thursday against Detroit. A victory would give Kansas City its sixth consecutive series win.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (6-6) starts for Detroit.