KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Austin Jackson hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning for his third hit of the game and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4 on Saturday night.
Jackson also hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Tigers (68-68), who have won three straight to reach .500 for the first time since Aug. 24.
Kila Ka’aihue hit a tying two-run homer in the sixth and finished with three RBIs for the Royals. Billy Butler had three hits and drove in a run.
Max St. Pierre and Will Rhymes set up Jackson’s clutch hit with consecutive one-out singles in the eighth. It was St. Pierre’s first big league hit after 14-plus years in the minors and Rhymes extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
Jackson then singled on Blake Wood’s first pitch, driving in pinch-runner Brennan Boesch. Rhymes scored on Lucas May’s passed ball to make it 6-4.
Rick Porcello (8-11) pitched seven innings for the Tigers, yielding four runs and seven hits. Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his 25th save in 28 opportunities.
Royals reliever Dusty Hughes (1-2) was charged with two runs, one earned, and two hits, recording just one out in the loss.
Miguel Cabrera, who missed Friday’s game due to left biceps tendinitis, helped Detroit get off to a fast start with a two-run double in the first that increased his major league-best total to 110 RBIs.
Jhonny Peralta drove in Johnny Damon with a sacrifice fly in the third, making it 3-0.
The Royals responded with consecutive two-out singles by Gregor Blanco, Mitch Maier, Butler and Ka’aihue in the bottom half, cutting it to 3-2. Butler and Ka’aihue drove in the runs.
Bruce Chen, who leads the Royals with nine victories, allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Ka’aihue tied it in the sixth with an opposite-field drive with Butler aboard. It was his third homer this season, with each coming against the Tigers.