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Tigers 6, Royals 4: Detroit takes the season series

In a season light on wins, the Royals are the Tigers’ lone bright spot.

Dawel Lugo high-fives with teammates Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers rode an explosive fourth-inning power display to a 6-4 win in the series and season finale against the Kansas City Royals. Harold Castro provided three of the Tigers’ 11 hits, and home runs from Brandon Dixon, Dawel Lugo, and Jordy Mercer buoyed starter Matt Boyd for his eighth win.

Boyd seemed destined for a frustrating outing, giving up a hard contact and line drives to the Kansas City lineup early. The Royals took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on three straight solid hits, despite Boyd eventually setting down the side on three strikeouts. He was able to adjust through the rest of his outing, keeping the ball low and inducing double-play groundouts and strikeouts to keep the Royals off the board.

Kansas City RHP Glenn Sparkman made his 19th start for the Royals this year, entering with a 5.86 ERA over 113.2 innings. Sparkman has struggled with home runs this year, giving almost two per every nine innings. The Tigers extended Sparkman’s long ball misery further in the fourth, blasting three solo home runs in the space of four batters to take the lead. Sparkman would end the inning and his night, trailing the Tigers 4-3.

The Tigers added two much-needed insurance runs in the sixth on Willi Castro’s line-drive single, and closer Joe Jimenez came on in the bottom of the ninth to preserve a 6-4 lead. A walk and a hit put runners at the corners with two out for Jorge Soler, representing the winning run. But a perfect pitch on the outside corner sent Soler chasing, his bat flying, and Detroit celebrating.

With the win, Detroit moves to 41-97 and takes the season series over Kansas City, 10-9. Thank goodness for the Royals.