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