Beltran, a switch-hitter, had been 4-for-26 (.154) against the left-hander.
“I never do well against him,” Beltran said. “He threw me a two-seamer in the middle of the plate, and I was able to square my bat to it and get it out of the ballpark. I do not face too many lefties, so it is difficult to keep my swing in shape from that side of the plate.”
Beltran hit his 14th homer of the season following Tony Graffanino’s single off Mike Maroth (5-5). Kansas City has said it might trade the center fielder because he is eligible for free agency after the season.
“It was a fastball that stayed up over the plate,” Maroth said. “Anytime it gets up, it’s a dangerous pitch for me. I’ve got to keep the ball down.”
“I didn’t know that was 150,” said Sweeney, who hadn’t homered since June 6. “It has been a long time since 149.”
Jimmy Gobble (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out a season-high four. Gobble, 1-2 in his previous five starts, gave up an RBI double in the third to Ivan Rodriguez, who leads the AL with a .360 batting average. Nate Field completed the four-hitter for his second save.
“I was able to pitch inside, which was the game plan coming in, and I was throwing my curveball for strikes, which was a key,” Gobble said. “My legs felt strong and stamina-wise I felt really strong in the seventh inning.”
Gobble needed to be sharp. The Royals led only 3-1 when he came out.
“I try not to look at the scoreboard,” Gobble said. “Whatever the score, you have to hit your spots. The game can turn real quick if you don’t watch it.”
Maroth gave up four runs—three earned—and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings for Detroit, which lost its fourth straight.
“I did all right,” Maroth said. “I was able to get some good innings in after the home run. We lost the game, so I can’t be satisfied.”
Ken Harvey hit a run-scoring single in the seventh and scored on a double byJoe Randa. Harvey, who went 2-for-4, is hitting .352.
Rodriguez and Alex Sanchez doubled for the Tigers, who have an extra-base hit in 35 of their past 36 games. … Alberto Castillo, called up Tuesday from Triple-A Omaha, singled in his first two at-bats and doubled in the eighth for a career-high three hits. … The Tigers are 8-19 when opponentsstart left-handers.