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Tigers rally to 5-4 victory over Royals, momentarily have sole possession of first place

A phenomenal performance by the Tigers' bullpen allowed Detroit to rally from a three-run deficit to a 5-4 win Wednesday, momentarily giving them a half-game lead over the White Sox in the Central Division race.

Trailing 4-1 after a poor pitching performance by starter Rick Porcello, the Tigers scored four unanswered runs and finally won a one-run game. It's the first one since Aug. 23.

The story of the night was the Tigers' bullpen, which went five innings without allowing Kansas City to score. Al Alburquerque went 2 1/3 innings, striking out three, to help bridge the gap to late innings. Luis Marte, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde also combined to keep Kansas City off the board.

The key play for the Tigers may have come in the eighth inning. With bases loaded and one out, Jhonny Peralta appeared to hit into a double play to end the inning. Andy Dirks broke it up with a hard slide, allowing Don Kelly to score the go-ahead run.

In the second inning, Dirks gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with a single to center field. In the fourth. The Royals answered with a three-run third inning and added a final run on a home run by Jeff Francoeur., Alex Avila and Austin Jackson both homered to knot the game at 4-4 for Detroit.

Porcello struggled at the start of the contest, and did not even come out for the fifth inning. He allowed the four runs on seven hits.

Chicago and Cleveland are tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.