Royals 5, Tigers 3

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DETROIT (AP)—Mike Sweeney watched Detroit walk the batter in front of him and got himself ready.

Sweeney followed with a go-ahead single in the ninth inning Tuesday night that sent the Kansas City Royals past the Detroit Tigers 5-3.

With the score 3-all, pinch-hitter Desi Relaford singled off Esteban Yan (0-1) and moved to second on an error by the pitcher, who threw wildly to first after catching Tony Graffanino’s popup on a bunt attempt.

Carlos Beltran was intentionally walked to bring up Sweeney, who then singled up the middle. Ken Harvey followed with a RBI single for his third hit of the game.

“When they walk the guy in front of you, it’s a challenge,” Sweeney said. “Just a one-on-one battle with a good pitcher like Esteban Yan, and I came up big in that situation.”

Jason Grimsley (3-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win, and Jeremy Affeldt got three outs for his fourth save in five chances, retiring Rondell White on a game-ending popout with two on.

Kansas City’s Chris George gave up three runs, six hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings in his first major league start since last July 10. He was called up from Triple-A Omaha earlier in the day.

“I had some adrenaline going tonight, and I didn’t throw the ball nearly as well as I did in Triple-A,” George said. “But things worked out for me.”

Royals’ manager Tony Pena noticed a difference in George from last season.

“I saw a lot of quickness in his arm,” he said. “Before, his arm was lazy.”

Tigers starter Nate Robertson gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out seven.

After Harvey had an infield single to lead off the second and third baseman Eric Munson allowed Joe Randa to reach on an error, Robertson retired 12 in a row until Byron Gettis walked leading off the sixth.

“Robertson was way behind too many batters,” Detroit pitching coach Bob Cluck said. “He made some pitches when he had to.”

Carlos Pena’s sacrifice fly and Omar Infante’s RBI single put Detroit ahead in the second, and Ivan Rodriguez made it 3-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.

Harvey hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Beltran’s two-run double tied it in the seventh.

“We fell behind, and we were able to come back and score some runs,” Tony


Harvey has a 10-game hitting streak (22-for-41). … Higginson was 2-for-4 and has 21 hits in his last 60 at-bats. … Detroit 2B Fernando Vina had a MRI exam of his sprained right hamstring on Tuesday. … Alex Sanchez got his 20th bunt single of the season. … Cluck and bench coach Kirk Gibson ranthe team because Tigers’ manager Alan Trammell had flu-like symptoms.

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