DETROIT (AP) — Ramon Santiago hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Santiago, who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch-runner, lifted Aaron Crow’s pitch over the right-field wall for only his fourth homer of the year. Joaquin Benoit (4-3) pitched two innings for the Tigers, matching his longest outing of the season.
Crow (3-4) struck out Wilson Betemit with the bases loaded to end the ninth, and he got the first out of the 10th before allowing Santiago’s surprising homer.
Detroit starter Doug Fister retired the first 18 hitters he faced. He ended up allowing a run and four hits over 7 2-3 innings. He struck out six.
Fister was traded from Seattle to Detroit on July 30 as the Tigers tried to bolster their rotation for the stretch run. He received only 2.63 runs of support per nine innings with the Mariners, and he must have felt as though he was back with them Tuesday when he took a perfect game into the seventh but ended up with a no-decision.
Alex Gordon ended Fister’s bid with a leadoff double in the seventh. After Gordon moved to third on a sacrifice, Billy Butler drove him in with a sac fly to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers tied it in the eighth on Magglio Ordonez’s two-out RBI single off reliever Greg Holland.
Kansas City starter Jeff Francis allowed two hits in 6 1-3 innings before being pulled with two on in the seventh. Holland retired Victor Martinez and Alex Avila to end the threat.
Holland has allowed only one of his 29 inherited runners to score this season, but he stayed in the game for the eighth inning and the Tigers managed to tie it. With men on first and third and two outs, Ordonez singled up the middle to make it 1-1.
The Royals had missed a chance to pad their lead in the top of the eighth when they put men on second and third with one out. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta fielded Alcides Escobar’s grounder and threw home to catch Mike Moustakas trying to score. Phil Coke then relieved Fister and struck out Gordon.
Detroit nearly won it in the ninth when Louis Coleman allowed three straight two-out walks, but Crow came in and got out of the jam.
NOTES — In his last three starts, Fister has allowed two runs in 21 2-3 innings. ... Martinez’s hard grounder in the ninth handcuffed first baseman Eric Hosmer, but the ball bounced off him and over to second baseman Chris Getz, who threw back to Hosmer covering first for an odd 3-4-3 groundout. ... It was Benoit’s third outing of more than an inning this season. ... The Tigers and Royals will finish their four-game series with day games Wednesday and Thursday. Rick Porcello takes the mound for Detroit on Wednesday against Felipe Paulino. ... The Tigers are 9-5 against Kansas City this season.