Tigers 9, Royals 5

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The Detroit Tigers did all the things good teams do. They got three home runs and some pretty good pitching, both from their starter and their bullpen.

They even tacked on a couple of insurance runs at the end. Beating Kansas City 9-5 Saturday night made manager Alan Trammell nostalgic for the good old days when he played on championship teams for the Tigers.

“Winning is fun. I remember what it feels like and I’d like to get more of it,” Trammell said.

“People think just because we lose every ballgame, we’re terrible. Our record is terrible, but we’ve played some pretty good ball. We’ve battled, but we come up short most of the time.”

Dmitri Young and Kevin Witt hit solo home runs and Alex Sanchez drove in three runs with his first homer in 307 at-bats, powering Detroit to its first win in eight meetings this year against the Royals.

Mike Maroth (4-12), who started the season 0-9, gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, with two strikeouts and three walks and won for the third time in four decisions.

“I’ve been pitching well,” Maroth said. “I’ve been getting run support and good defense. Those are the ingredients it takes to win for a pitcher. The only problem we have is consistency. We do a lot of good things. Just not often enough.”

Until Raul Ibanez homered with two outs in the eighth, Maroth had retired 13 of 14 batters. He also avoided joining teammate Jeremy Bonderman as the major’s only 13-game losers.

The Tigers, whose 21-64 record is the worst in the major leagues, have hit seven home runs in their last two games and 12 in their last seven. Sanchez’s shot in the fourth inning was the second of his career and put the Tigers on top 6-0 in the fourth.

Sanchez, homerless since Aug. 31 when he played for Milwaukee, hit a 2-2 pitch 390 feet over the fence in right off rookie Brad Voyles (0-2).

Jamie Walker got four outs for his second save. He allowed Michael Tucker’s 12th homer in the ninth.

Young hit his 17th home run off Voyles in the first inning and Witt made it 3-0 with his sixth in the third.

“It seemed like I would go good and make pitches,” said Voyles. “But any time I would make a mistake, it seemed like it got hit. Sometimes I tend to overthrow, and when I do, I leave the ball up in the zone.”

The Royals scored three in the fourth on Ken Harvey’s solo home run and a bases-loaded single by Julius Matos, who was making his first appearance since being called up this week from Triple-A.

Voyles, looking for his first big league win, went four innings and gave up six runs on eight hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Craig Monroe doubled in the second and scored on a single by A.J. Hinch.

The Tigers loaded the bases against Kris Wilson in the fifth and got a run on Hinch’s sacrifice fly.

Witt, who had three hits, singled in a run in the ninth and Eric Munson finished the scoring for the Tigers with a sacrifice fly.

“I think that was about as significant as anything else, getting those last two runs, the way we kept grinding,” Trammell said.

Royals catcher Mike DiFelice was ejected by home plate umpire Randy Marsh after an unusual play in the sixth. Sanchez bunted up the first-base line and DiFelice watched as the ball rolled slowly away, just inches from the line. Just as the ball was about to stop, apparently in fair territory, DiFelice swiped at it and knocked it into foul ground. Marsh immediately signaled fairball, then tossed DiFelice when the catcher yelled at him.


RHP Runelvys Hernandez, out since May 17 with inflammation in his right elbow, threw a simulated game on Saturday and hopes to start against Texas next Friday. … Angel Berroa had no trouble stealing second in the second inningbecause nobody covered the bag for the Tigers.

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