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Royals log 20 hits to win slugfest with Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- After scoring 12 runs the previous night, the Royals came back to batter the Tigers' pitching staff again on Thursday in a marathon 15-7 win at Kauffman Stadium.

Kendrys Morales had four hits and four RBIs, Lorenzo Cain homered and had three RBIs, Paulo Orlando cracked a two-run homer, and Ben Zobrist had four hits for the Royals, who overcame a 3-0 deficit, and then gave up a 6-3 lead before a six-run seventh put the game out of reach.

With the win, the Royals reduced their magic number to 18 in the American League Central.

Video: [email protected]: Zobrist tallies four hits in win over Tigers

"It felt like a fist fight out there tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It just was drawn out. Seventy pitches in the first inning. It was just a long, long night.

"It takes a toll on everybody, I think. Luckily, we didn't take BP tonight so we had a little extra stored up energy to get through it."

Anthony Gose led off the game with a homer for the Tigers, while Nick Castellanos had three hits and three RBIs.

Video: [email protected]: Gose leads off the game with a long homer

"When you tie the game back up, you feel good about it," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "But when you end up giving 15 runs to the Royals, it's tough to beat anyone."

Both starting pitchers were dreadful. Royals starter Edinson Volquez had a streak of nine straight starts of going six or more innings snapped. He lasted just three innings, giving up six runs. Matt Boyd of the Tigers lasted just one-plus innings and gave up seven hits and six runs.

"Just one of those nights," Volquez said, shaking his head.

LoCain train: Cain continued to mash the Tigers while extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He singled and scored in the first. Then in the second, he launched a towering drive with two runners on and the score tied at 3. The drive just crept over the left-center-field wall at the 387-foot sign, giving the Royals a 6-3 lead. It was Cain's 14th homer of the season -- he had 17 career homers coming in -- and his second of the series.

Video: [email protected]: Cain 'muscles' three-run shot to take lead

"I hit it good," Cain said. "I didn't know if it would make it. But fortunately it did."

Castellanos continues hitting: While the Tigers offense couldn't keep up with the damage the Royals put up, Castellanos had a pair of two-out RBI hits. His two-run double down the right-field line turned a promising opening inning into a three-run lead. Two innings later, he lifted a blooper over first base to drive in Miguel Cabrera and lead the Tigers' two-out rally.

Video: [email protected]: Castellanos singles in Miggy to cut the lead

Morales mashing: After the Royals fell behind 3-0 in the first, Morales got them right back into the game with a two-run single down the left-field line. He also singled and scored in the fourth, and singled and scored in the sixth. Oh, there's more. He doubled in two more runs in the seventh to put the Royals up 13-7. Morales now has 98 RBIs on the season. The only time he had 100-plus RBIs was in 2009 with the Angels when he had 108. More >

Video: [email protected]: K. Morales singles in a pair to cut the lead

Boyd and Volquez threw 38 pitches each in the opening inning, the most combined first-inning pitches in a Major League game since April 14, 2009, when Oakland's Dana Eveland and Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka combined for 83 pitches in their opening frame.

Christian Colon's highlight play on J.D. Martinez in the sixth was ruled as stands after a replay challenge from Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. Colon ran down Martinez's ground ball deep in the hole and made a whirling throw to first. Replay showed a close play at first base. The play ended Detroit's scoring threat with Ian Kinsler on second base.

Video: [email protected]: Colon makes jump-throw for out, call stands

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias left the game in the third inning with a right middle finger contusion after fouling off a pitch on a bunt attempt. He'll be evaluated on Friday in Detroit. More >

Video: [email protected]: Iglesias hit on hand trying to bunt, leaves

Tigers: Left-hander Kyle Lobstein (3-5, 4.34 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game home set against the Indians on Friday at 7:08 p.m. ET. Lobstein will make his return after nearly four months of rehabbing from a shoulder injury. He went 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA in six Minor League rehab outings.

Royals: Right-hander Kris Medlen (3-0, 3.51 ERA) will get the ball for the opener of a three-game set against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Medlen won his previous two starts with a combined 11 strikeouts in those outings. This will be his third start with the Royals after working out of the bullpen.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Matt Boyd, Edinson Volquez