Tigers 4, Royals 2

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DETROIT (AP)—Home runs and pitching were a great combination for the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.

Ivan Rodriguez, Rondell White and Marcus Thames homered back Mike Maroth in a 4-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Maroth (7-7) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Coming off a one-hit shutout of the New York Yankees, he walked two and struck out one.

“I had a lot of confidence coming off the last victory,” Maroth said. “I felt good, had good stuff and a real live fastball.”

The left-hander gave way to Al Levine, who pitched two perfect innings. Esteban Yan got one out in the ninth before Jamie Walker retired both of his batters for his fifth career save, his first this season. He struck out Dee Brown with runners at the corners to end it.

“We pitched well enough to win, we got a couple of home runs and that’s it,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.

Kansas City got a homer from Desi Relaford in its third straight loss.

Darrell May (7-10) allowed four runs and eight hits in eight innings. He walked three and struck out one.

“I feel like I made some pretty good pitches,” May said. “But, maybe, not good enough.”

Detroit went ahead 1-0 in the second inning on White’s leadoff homer. He lined the first pitch over the left-center fence.

“He’s got a great changeup,” White said of May. “But he got it up tonight and we got to most of them.”

Detroit made it 2-0 in the third on Carlos Guillen’s RBI groundout.

Bobby Higginson and Rodriguez opened the inning with singles, and Higginson moved to third on Dmitri Young’s fly to center. Guillen then hit a grounder down the first-base line that Kansas City first baseman Ken Harvey fielded with a dive. He threw to second for the force on Rodriguez as Higginson scored.

Thames’ homer leading off the fourth stretched the lead to 3-0. He hit the first pitch into the stands down the left-field line.

Relaford’s one-out shot to left in the fifth gave the Royals their first run. Rodriguez’s home run leading off the fifth restored Detroit’s three-run lead.

“He give up the three home runs, they were three identical pitches,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. “Fastball, middle in … a little up.”

Kansas City cut the deficit to 4-2 on Ruben Mateo’s RBI single in the sixth. David DeJesus, who was 3-for-4, led off with a double, moved to third on Mike Sweeney’s one-out fly to right and scored on Mateo’s chopper into center field after a walk to Harvey.

“We had guys on base a few times that we could have scored some runs, if— me included—we could have been more patient,” Harvey said.


Detroit CF Nook Logan made his major league debut and bunted for a single in the second inning, his first at-bat. … Kansas City recalled RHP Shawn Camp from Triple-A Omaha. … Rodriguez was 2-for-3 and is hitting .406 in his last 43 games.

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