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Tigers 8, Royals 2

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Right-hander Rick Porcello pitched a stout seven innings and designated hitter Victor Martinez stroked three hits, including two doubles, and drove in two runs as the Detroit Tigers crushed the Kansas City Royals 8-2 on Friday night.

The Tigers have won three straight and five of six to take a three-game lead in the American League Central over the second-place Royals.

The Tigers' 14-hit offensive splurge included catcher Alex Avila hitting a two-run homer and left fielder J.D. Martinez doubling home two runs in a three-run seventh. Right fielder Torii Hunter collected two hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games, and scored two runs. Every Tiger had at least one hit as the club leads the league in hitting.

Porcello (4-1) won his third straight start, limiting the Royals to four hits and retiring the final 12 batters he faced after designated hitter Billy Butler homered to lead off the fourth. He struck out six and walked none.

Right-hander James Shields (3-3), who won his previous three starts, gave up eight runs (seven earned) and a dozen hits in 6 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Royals catcher Salvador Perez suffered a bruised left shin in the seventh when he fouled a pitch off his leg. Brett Hayes replaced him in the eighth.

The Royals fell to 0-14 when they failed to score at least four runs.

Royals second baseman Omar Infante tripled to right in the first inning and scored on first baseman Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers forged ahead 2-1 in the third when right fielder Torii Hunter singled before first baseman Miguel Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez stroked back-to-back RBI doubles. Cabrera entered the game hitting .419 against Shields.

Avila homered after Martinez's double in Detroit's three-run fourth. The other run in the inning was unearned as a result of third baseman Mike Moustakas' throwing error. Detroit's Andrew Romine scored the final run of the inning when Hunter grounded into a double play.

The Royals got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Butler led off with his first home run just inside the left-field foul pole on a 3-1 pitch from Porcello. It was the first home run this season by a Royals cleanup hitter.

NOTES: The Tigers signed free agent RHP Joel Hanrahan, a two-time All-Star who had Tommy John surgery last May, to a one-year contract. Hanrahan was placed on the disabled list and will continue to rehab in Lakeland, Fla. He probably will not join the Detroit bullpen before June as he continues his rehab. ... The Royals placed LHP Bruce Chen on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 25, with a bulging disc. LHP Danny Duffy will take Chen's slot in the rotation, making his first start Saturday. ... The Royals called up RHP Aaron Brooks from Triple-A Omaha, where he was 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA in four games, three of them starts.

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