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Salvy homers twice as Royals rout Tigers

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Alex Gordon's go-ahead RBI double fueled a four-run seventh inning, rewarding Jason Hammel for six quality innings as the Royals pulled away for a 13-2 win over the Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game series Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Salvador Perez added two home runs for the Royals, who are 2 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot. Perez's second-inning homer was the Royals' 169th this season, breaking the club record of 168, set in 1987. Detroit lost for the sixth time in seven games on its now-completed homestand, and was officially eliminated from the AL Central race with Cleveland's win over the White Sox. 

Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- Alex Gordon's go-ahead RBI double fueled a four-run seventh inning, rewarding Jason Hammel for six quality innings as the Royals pulled away for a 13-2 win over the Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game series Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Salvador Perez added two home runs for the Royals, who are 2 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot. Perez's second-inning homer was the Royals' 169th this season, breaking the club record of 168, set in 1987. Detroit lost for the sixth time in seven games on its now-completed homestand, and was officially eliminated from the AL Central race with Cleveland's win over the White Sox. 

Full Game Coverage

Hammel (8-10) and Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (5-9) battled to a 2-2 tie after six innings before back-to-back doubles put Kansas City in front for good. After Alcides Escobar lined a leadoff double off the wall in right-center, Gordon reached for a full-count pitch off the plate and flared a ball into short left field to put the Royals in front. Three consecutive hits off Warwick Saupold added some cushion before a seven-run eighth put the Royals up double digits.

Hammel gives bullpen a much-needed rest

Video: KC@DET: Royals push across seven runs in the 8th

"We scored a couple early, and then Hammel did a great job of keeping us in that ballgame until we could break it open in the seventh," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Boyd gets 'building block' after facing Royals

"We had a chance to win the series, and the other guy was a few pitches better today," Boyd said.

Video: KC@DET: Boyd gets Merrifield looking in the 3rd

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Don't run on the Melkman: The Tigers had the makings of a rally with two ground-ball singles in the third inning, but Ian Kinsler tried to go first to third on Alex Presley's one-out grounder through the right side. Melky Cabrera threw a rope to Mike Moustakas at third ahead of Kinsler's slide before Hammel retired Nicholas Castellanos to end the threat.

Video: KC@DET: Melky throws Kinsler out at third base

Kinsler ends drought: Kinsler hadn't homered since Aug. 27, and he was just 3-for-26 for the homestand when he stepped to the plate against Hammel to begin the fifth inning. However, he'd been taking better swings the last couple games, and he was ready when Hammel tried to drop a first-pitch breaking ball over the plate, driving it an estimated 393 feet to left-center, according to Statcast™, to tie the game.

QUOTABLE
"He pounded the strike zone with a really good fastball, with good action on it. And a really good slider. At times, the slider was inconsistent, but when it was good, it was really good." -- Yost, on Hammel, who worked six or more innings for the sixth straight start.

"My gut tells me he'll be fine. He hasn't looked good so far, but my gut says he'll be fine." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on relief prospect Joe Jimenez, who gave up five runs on five hits in one-third of an inning to raise his ERA to 12.83 in 13 1/3 innings this season.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kinsler's home run was his 15th of the season, all of them solo shots. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the longest streak of solo homers to begin a season without a multi-run variety since Kal Daniels' first 16 homers were solo shots for the Reds during the 1987 season.

INJURY REPORT
The Royals pulled Moustakas from the game as a precaution with right lateral knee irritation after he hit into a double play to end the seventh inning. He's listed as day to day.

"I'm coming in anticipating playing third tomorrow," Moustakas said. "Things may change, but I'm pretty confident in how I feel right now." More >

Video: KC@DET: Moustakas leaves game with an apparent injury

WHAT'S NEXT
Royals: The Royals return home Thursday for a seven-game homestand, starting with a pivotal four-game series against division rival Minnesota. Claimed off waivers last week, rookie Sam Gaviglio (3-5, 4.62 ERA) will make his Royals debut, squaring off against Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (9-10, 5.33 ERA) at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CT.

Tigers: After an off-day Thursday, the Tigers head north to Toronto to open a three-game series against the Blue Jays with a 7:07 p.m. ET game Friday at Rogers Centre. Buck Farmer (3-2, 7.18) gets the start in his third turn since rejoining the Detroit rotation two weeks ago.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.