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Royals win with flair as Soler caps 4-run 8th

Right fielder also makes stellar catch in 9th against Tigers
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- There is no stopping Jorge Soler right now.

Soler ripped a two-out, two-run single during a four-run rally in the eighth inning on Friday night that lifted the Royals to a 4-2 win over the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- There is no stopping Jorge Soler right now.

Soler ripped a two-out, two-run single during a four-run rally in the eighth inning on Friday night that lifted the Royals to a 4-2 win over the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

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Soler now has a 10-game hitting streak, tying a career high. He also has a 19-game on-base streak. The go-ahead hit came off a slider from Joe Jimenez.

"I'm always looking fastball," Soler said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "He threw me a slider. I saw it well and I connected."

Soler also made a dazzling, sliding catch in the ninth inning with closer Kelvin Herrera on the mound. Statcast™ determined the catch was a three-star play -- Soler covered 63 feet in four seconds to make the play in foul ground.

Video: DET@KC: Soler races to make outstanding sliding catch

"The play, it was really exciting," Soler said. "I was playing in. When I saw the line drive heading to the wall, I was like, 'Let's slide.' It's a play we've been practicing. We were working on that earlier today."

The Royals, who have won the first two in this four-game set and are looking for their first series win of the season, scored earlier in the inning on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to deep right field by Whit Merrifield.

Video: DET@KC: Herrera retires Machado, locks down 6th save

"In that situation, my approach is always drive the ball to center field," Merrifield said. "He threw a ball, pretty good pitch down and away. When my approach is good my swing is pretty good."

Royals reliever Blaine Boyer was headed toward a fifth straight scoreless outing until he hung a 3-2 slider to JaCoby Jones with two on and two out in the eighth inning. Jones smacked it into the left-field corner for a two-run double, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Video: DET@KC: Jones lines go-ahead 2-run double in the 8th

The Royals, who tied a season high with 10 runs on Thursday, were stifled by Tigers left-hander Francisco Liriano, who pitched seven scoreless innings before leaving after walking the leadoff hitter in the eighth.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy was solid in throwing six shutout innings, his best outing since April 7 when he also threw six scoreless against the Indians. Kennedy gave up six hits, walked one and struck out seven.

"He did a good job getting out of jams," manager Ned Yost said. "He expended everything he had … He made pitches when he needed to."

Kennedy threw 103 pitches, 69 for strikes.

Video: DET@KC: Kennedy, Merrifield on late win over Royals

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Kennedy worked out of a few jams, none bigger than in the sixth inning. With one out, Nicholas Castellanos walked and Victor Martinez followed with a single to right, sending Castellanos to third. Kennedy got Jones to strike out on a changeup. Kennedy then got ahead of John Hicks, 0-2, and tried to retire him on two straight curveballs and a four-seam fastball. Then after another curve missed, Kennedy got Hicks to fly out on a four-seam fastball, ending the threat.

Video: DET@KC: Kennedy strikes out 7 over 6 scoreless frames

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Royals won yet another challenge in the seventh when Tigers catcher James McCann originally was ruled safe on a steal attempt of second. But replays showed McCann came off the bag during his slide as shortstop Alcides Escobar kept the tag on. Royals replay specialist Bill Duplissea now is 9-for-9 in challenges.

Video: DET@KC: Perez nabs McCann on overturned call in 7th

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jason Hammel (0-3, 4.91 ERA) will take the mound on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. CT as the Royals square off against the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 5.81) will start for Detroit. Hammel had his roughest outing of the season on Monday night in Boston, giving up a season-high eight runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. The game is available on FS1 and MLB.TV.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Cheslor Cuthbert, Ian Kennedy, Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler