The Tigers not only beat Kansas City 15-6 Tuesday night to stay two defeats from the post-1900 major league record for one season, but in doing so they also delivered a devastating blow to the Royals in the AL Central race.
Detroit ended a 10-game losing streak as Warren Morris, Craig Monroe and A.J. Hinch all homered. The Tigers still must win four of their last five to avoid tying the 1962 New York Mets’ record of 120 losses.
Detroit hadn’t won since beating Kansas City 3-0 on Sept. 12. The 15 runs were Detroit’s highest total since scoring 19 against Texas on Aug. 8, 2001. The Tigers also had 18 hits, their most since getting 19 on July 26th, 2002.
Kansas City’s loss combined with Minnesota’s victory over Cleveland eliminated the Royals from the AL Central race.
Still, one year after losing a franchise-record 100 games, the Royals shocked almost everyone by staying in contention until the final week of the season.
“We’re a little down right now with Minnesota clinching,” third baseman Joe Randa said. “When the season is over and we look back and reflect, we’ll see it’s been a pretty good year.”
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 49 GB, AL Central. Royals - 2nd place (tied), 6 GB, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Shane Loux (0-1, 8.17 ERA). Loux was on the short end of a 6-0 loss to Toronto on Thursday, allowing six runs and seven hits with two walks over 3 1-3 innings in his first start since Aug. 27. He had been sidelined with a sore shoulder.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Jimmy Gobble (4-4, 4.53 ERA). Gobble beat the Tigers in his last start, earning the win in a 7-2 victory on Sunday. The rookie left-hander allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.
SEASON SERIES: Royals, 14-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - OF Bobby Higginson was suspended for two days Tuesday by major league baseball following his ejection on Sept. 16 during a game against Toronto. … OF Sanchez has a six-game hitting streak, during which he’s 7-for-20. … LF-3B Young has an RBI in five straight games. Royals - RHP Paul Abbott is out for the season with a strained left side muscle. His scheduled start Saturday against Chicago will be taken by RHP Jamey Wright. … 1B Ken Harvey was hit in the face during batting practice on Tuesday. He later went 2-for-4 with a homer. … SS Angel Berroa has been hit 16 times this season, tying the club record set by Mike MacFarland in 1994. Berroa is four shy of the major league rookie record.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 19-61 on the road; Royals - 39-36 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - 3B Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; DH Dean Palmer (shoulder), 60-day DL. Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Appier (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Abbott (side), day-to-day.
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