DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera led off the bottom of the ninth inning with his 39th home run of the season Saturday night to give the Detroit Tigers a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Cabrera ran the count to 3-1 and then lofted a high fly to right that easily made the seats near the foul pole to end a back-and-forth game. Aaron Crow (7-4) came on for the ninth and took the loss.
Joaquin Benoit (3-0) walked the leadoff man in the top of the ninth but retired the next three batters.
Cabrera doubled into the right field corner with two out and a man on third to drive in his 116th run and give Detroit a 4-3 lead in the bottom half of the fourth after a decision that got both Detroit manager Jim Leyland and his catcher, Brayan Pena ejected led to Kansas City scoring the tying run in the top of the inning.
Chris Getz singled leading off and raced all the way to third on a pitch in the dirt that hit Alcides Escobar's bat and went to the backstop. None of the umpires apparently saw or heard the ball hit the bat, and after a short but heated argument he stayed at third. Leyland was ejected when he apparently saw the replay and began yelling from the dugout.
Pena was kicked out for squawking after Escobar then grounded an RBI double down the third base line, making it 3-3. Run-scoring singles by Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez in the third let the Royals get to within 3-2.
Prince Fielder had an RBI double and Victor Martinez followed with a run-scoring single in the first and Jose Iglesias laid down a suicide squeeze bunt with a man on third and beat it out for an RBI single to up Detroit's lead to 3-0 in the second.
NOTES: RF Torii Hunter drew a seat on the bench for the start of Saturday's game. "If you're going to give a guy a day off," Tigers manager Jim Leyland noted of Hunter's 0-for-7 record against Kansas City starter RHP Wade Davis, "it only makes sense to do it then." ... 2B Miguel Tejada, already on the Royals' 60-day disabled list with a calf injury, will have to sit out the first 105 games of next season too. MLB suspended Tejada 25 days and 80 on top of that for two failed tests for banned substances. ... Leyland says he's "thrilled to death" with his new shortstop, Jose Iglesias, acquired in late July from Boston. "He's going to be the shortstop for the Detroit Tigers for a long time." ... 3B Mike Moustakas returned to Kansas City's starting lineup after missing four days with a calf injury.