DETROIT (AP) — Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar hit back-to-back homers and the Kansas City Royals beat the first-place Detroit Tigers 9-5 Monday night.
Alex Gordon also homered and Johnny Giavotella added a bases-loaded double for the Royals, who came in 18½ games behind the Central Division leaders.
Luke Hochevar (9-10) ended a four-start winless streak. He gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings.
Max Scherzer (13-8) allowed seven runs on 10 hits and a walk in three-plus innings to drop to 2-2 in August. Both losses were to the Royals.
Gordon led off the game with his 19th homer, and Perez’s RBI double made it 2-0 in the second.
The Royals then broke the game open with three runs in the third. Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler started the inning with singles, and Eric Hosmer walked to load the bases. Scherzer retired the next two batters, but Giavotella hit a line-drive into the right-center gap, scoring all three runners.
The Tigers made it 5-3 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Ramon Santiago and run-scoring singles by Delmon Young and Victor Martinez, but Scherzer couldn’t keep the Tigers in the game.
Perez led off the fourth with his first career homer — a 415-foot drive to left-center that bounced off the brick wall behind the seats — and Escobar followed with a shot into the left-field stands.
Gordon singled, ending Scherzer’s night, but Duane Below got out of the inning.
Miguel Cabrera’s RBI double pulled the Tigers back to 7-4, but the Royals got RBIs from Cabrera and Hosmer to put the game away in the sixth.
Detroit threatened in the eighth, adding a fifth run, but Blake Wood came in to get a double play and a strikeout to escape further damage. Wood also pitched the ninth for his first career save.
NOTES — The Tigers announced before the game that OF Brennan Boesch will need surgery to fix a sprained thumb, but that he will try to find a way to play with the injury. Boesch has only played once since Aug. 22 because of the injury. ... RP Al Alburquerque (concussion) has been cleared to resume baseball activities, and will be available after getting his arm ready. Alburquerque has been sidelined since he was hit with a ball during batting practice in Baltimore on Aug. 13.