Tigers score five unanswered runs, beat Royals to begin series

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, right, celebrates his three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals with Mikie Mahtook during the third inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) – J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera homered and Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Verlander (5-4) was down 3-0 before getting an out, but didn’t allow another run as the Tigers won their second straight after an eight-game losing streak. He gave up three runs, nine hits and a walk, striking out six.

Three relievers finished for the Tigers, with Justin Wilson pitching the ninth for his seventh save.

Matt Strahm (2-5) gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings for the Royals.

The Royals got off to a quick start against Verlander. Whit Merrfield started the game with a ground-rule double over the 420-foot sign in center and the next four batters singled to give Kansas City a three-run lead with no outs in the first.

Verlander, though, retired the next three batters to escape the inning without further damage. After the five hits to start the game, he got 21 outs while only allowing four singles.

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