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DETROIT -- Ervin Santana blanked Detroit on five hits over 6 2/3 innings Saturday night to make a first-inning RBI triple by Eric Hosmer stand up and give the Kansas City Royals a 1-0 victory over the Tigers.

Relievers Will Smith, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland kept Detroit scoreless over the last 2 1/3 innings to keep Kansas City in the chase for the second wild-card berth. The Royals entered play 3 1/2 games out of the second spot.

"They might have the best bullpen in the league," Tigers manager Jim Leyland has said of the Royals' relievers on several occasions, most recently Friday night.

Hochevar stranded Torii Hunter at second after a two-out double in the eighth and Holland gained his 43rd save with a scoreless ninth as Detroit suffered its 10th shutout loss of the season.

Holland walked Prince Fielder leading off the ninth, retired the next two and Fielder was thrown out at the plate to end the game trying to score from first on Omar Infante's double to left.

Santana (9-9) walked just one and struck out five, spotting his fastball and being effective with his off-speed stuff while allowing Detroit no more than one runner in an inning until the seventh.

He was nearly matched by the Tigers' Doug Fister (12-9), who allowed just one run on eight hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings.

Alex Gordon ripped Fister's first pitch of the game into right field for a single and scored from there when Hosmer launched a triple high off the wall in right-center to give Kansas City a 1-0 start.

Hosmer tried to score on Billy Butler's grounder to third but was easily thrown out at the plate by Miguel Cabrera.

Kansas City loaded the bases after the first two batters were retired in the fifth but Chris Getz flied out to center to end the threat.

NOTES: 1B Carlos Pena of the Royals is done for the season. He underwent an emergency appendectomy Saturday morning in a Detroit-area hospital. ... When 1B Prince Fielder breached 100 RBI Friday night to join 3B Cabrera at that level it marked the 11th time since 1961 that two Tigers had at least 100 RBI in the same season. ... 2B Emilio Bonifacio was picked off first Saturday for the second straight night. It led to his ejection when he demonstratively objected to the call, including a helmet jam. Getz replaced him at second. ... Detroit RHP Max Scherzer was scheduled to make his fourth try for his 20th victory Sunday when he started against Kansas City. He has allowed 11 earned runs in his last 16 innings.
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