DETROIT -- Mike Moustakas, needing a hit to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, did so dramatically, blasting a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning to propel the Royals to an 8-5 win over the Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.Moustakas hit a 2-2 changeup from right-hander
DETROIT -- Mike Moustakas, needing a hit to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, did so dramatically, blasting a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning to propel the Royals to an 8-5 win over the Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.
Moustakas hit a 2-2 changeup from right-hander Buck Farmer into the right-field seats, his sixth home run this season.
"After the first three or four [changeups], I was sitting on it and trying to get one up, and finally he ended up leaving one up, and I was able to get a good swing on it," Moustakas said. "I hit it pretty good. I didn't know if it was gonna hook. The other night I hit one, and it kind of took a little right turn, and I was trying to see if it was gonna stay fair. Once it got out there I knew it was gonna stay."
The Royals' struggling bullpen held the fort after Moustakas' home run, thanks to two scoreless innings from lefty Brian Flynn, and closer Kelvin Herrera, who got his fourth save.
"Really good job by Flynn," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We needed two scoreless innings to get to Kelvin and that's exactly what he did, with very little fanfare. I was hoping to get a second inning out of him. He was the most rested."
The Royals did not have a hit until Whit Merrifield homered to lead off the sixth inning. Moments later, center fielder Abraham Almonte hit a grand slam, his second home run this season and second career grand slam -- his other came with the Indians on Aug. 30, 2015.
Almonte's grand slam was the Royals' first hit this season with the bases loaded. They had been 0-for-15.
"I was looking for something up in the zone, kind of elevated and see if I could get a sac fly," Almonte said. "It felt good."
Left-hander Eric Skoglund started for the Royals and after a rough first inning -- a hit batter, two hits and two runs -- he settled down and blanked the Tigers through the fifth. But Skoglund, given a 5-2 lead, walked the first two hitters he faced in the sixth and was removed.
Skoglund wound up going five-plus innings and giving up four hits and four runs. Yost said he had a chat with Skoglund after the first inning.
"I thought he was OK," Yost said. "I thought the first inning he was a little tentative. He got on the attack in the second and was great from two through five, and then in the sixth, got a little fine again, two walks and he was done. But like I told him, these are all learning experiences. You got to trust your stuff and attack.
"I told him, 'One day you're going to figure out you're a pretty good pitcher. You need to get after them. You're tippy-toeing out there. Get on the attack and be aggressive.'"
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Big double play: With all the issues the Royals have had this season in the bullpen, there had to be thoughts of "Here we go again" when Nicholas Castellanos led off the eighth inning with a single off Flynn. But Flynn got Victor Martinez to chop into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the threat essentially. The Tigers didn't get another baserunner.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Almonte, who was claimed off waivers earlier this month, has the Royals' two longest home runs this season -- 426 feet and the projected 425-foot grand slam, per Statcast™. More >
HE SAID IT
"I heard about that. I hope she enjoys it." -- a smiling Almonte, on his grand slam netting a fan $25,000
After an off-day on Monday, the Royals will return to action at Kauffman Stadium against the Brewers at 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-2, 2.35 ERA) will take the mound. Kennedy gave up four earned runs and eight hits over five innings in his last start Wednesday in Toronto. Zach Davies (1-2, 4.84 ERA) starts for the Brewers.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.