Royals drop series opener in Detroit

Tigers' J.D. Martinez, right, is congratulated by Alex Avila (13) after scoring in the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park in Detroit Monday Sept. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)

DETROIT (AP) – Torii Hunter had two of his three hits in a six-run third inning and the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 9-5 Monday to move within a game of the American League Central-leading Royals.

Justin Verlander (13-12) allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four for Detroit, which moved into a tie with Seattle for the second AL wild card.

Nick Castellanos had two hits with two runs scored and two RBIs for the Tigers. Victor Martinez had three hits three hits and an RBI, and Hunter scored twice and drove in a ruin.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (10-11) allowed eight runs – six earned – and 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings. Guthrie has given up 14 earned runs in his last 6 2-3 innings against Detroit.

Lorenzo Cain hit an inside-the-park home run for Kansas City in the seventh inning.

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