KC 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 5
Det 0 2 6 0 0 0 0 1 X 9
Date of game: 9/8/2014

Recap: Detroit vs. Kansas City

Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Castellanos hit a two-run double as part of a six-run third inning as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals, 9-5, in the opener of a key three-game set.

Torii Hunter went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, Victor Martinez was 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored and Miguel Cabrera posted two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Detroit, which moved a game behind Kansas City for first place in the AL Central.

Justin Verlander (13-12) allowed four runs on six hits and a walk over seven innings to notch the win.

"This is the biggest series of the year coming in and it's nice to get off to a good start," Verlander said.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-11) surrendered eight runs -- six earned -- on 10 hits and a walk over 2 2/3 frames for the Royals, who had won five of their last six games coming in.

Lorenzo Cain hit an inside-the-park homer in defeat.

The game was tied 2-2 before the Tigers surged ahead in the home third.

Three straight singles by Hunter, Cabrera and Martinez to start the third plated a run. J.D. Martinez beat out a potential double-play ball to put runners on the corners. Don Kelly ripped a double down the left-field line to plate Cabrera.

Castellanos reached out and bounced a double past a diving Mike Moustakas at third base to bring home J.D. Martinez and Kelly. Alex Avila then lined a two- bagger down the right-field line to push across Castellanos and Avila moved to third on Austin Romine's base hit. Ian Kinsler popped out for the second out and Torii Hunter followed with a base hit to right to score Avila for an 8-2 Tigers advantage.

Kansas City got a pair of runs back in the seventh and another in the eighth.

Eric Hosmer led off with a triple in the seventh and scored on Billy Butler's groundout. Cain's inside-the-park homer came with two outs. He lifted a flyball into the gap in right-center and the ball darted to the warning track when Kelly and Hunter collided with one another. Once Kelly tracked the ball down, Cain was already rounding third base.

Hosmer's RBI single in the eighth cut the deficit to 8-5.

"Big deficit to come back from, we tried to chip away, just didn't battle back enough," Hosmer said.

Detroit, though, pushed across another run in the home eighth on Cabrera's RBI single.

Earlier, the Tigers opened the scoring with a two-run second. With the bases loaded and two outs, Romine grounded one to first, but Hosmer bobbled it initially before committing a throwing error to Guthrie covering first, allowing two runners to come home.

KC tied the game in the third when Nori Aoki hit a two-run single.

Game Notes

Detroit is 10-4 against Kansas City so far this season ... Verlander won his 150th career game. He was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA over his four previous meetings against KC this year ... Detroit was 7-for-15 with runners in scoring position, while KC finished 2-for-5 ... The Tigers pounded out 15 hits.

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