DETROIT -- Ian Kennedy tamed the Tigers with his strongest outing in two months, tossing seven quality innings with support from Salvador Perez's two-run homer as the Royals rolled to an 8-2 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.Kennedy (2-6), who posted a 1.96 ERA in three starts vs. the
DETROIT -- Ian Kennedy tamed the Tigers with his strongest outing in two months, tossing seven quality innings with support from Salvador Perez's two-run homer as the Royals rolled to an 8-2 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Kennedy (2-6), who posted a 1.96 ERA in three starts vs. the Tigers last season, rebounded from a loss last month by holding them to solo homers from Alex Avila and Jose Cabrera. Kennedy had little pressure from there, especially once Perez and Mike Moustakas hit back-to-back home runs in a four-run fourth inning that knocked out Tigers starter Daniel Norris.
"He pitched well," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Kennedy. "He did a good job of pitching up and down [in the strike zone]."
Perez added an RBI double in the ninth inning off Alex Wilson. Alex Gordon had two hits and his first three-RBI game since Sept. 25, also here at Comerica Park. Alcides Escobar had three hits and now has a nine-game hitting streak.
"The home runs were great," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But it's really nice to keep seeing that production at the bottom of the order -- Gordy with three RBIs and Esky with three hits."
Norris (4-6) didn't yield a hit through two innings, but he gave up hits to eight of his final 12 batters.
"It looked like he was in control," catcher Avila said, "and then one inning everything just kind of snowballed. That's been most of the season, where he's pitching well at times over the course of the game and has one really bad inning where he really can't find it, and has a hard time being able to stop the bleeding."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit the bricks: One night after Perez hit a Statcast™-projected 420-plus-foot loft to right-center that Michael Mahtook snared with a highlight catch, Perez answered with a 451-foot drive to the farthest reaches of Comerica Park. His fourth-inning homer, on a 3-0 pitch, off Norris barely missed the concourse in left-center, hitting the brick wall just to the right of Hal Newhouser's retired No. 16. It is Perez's second-longest home run since Statcast™ debuted in 2015, three feet shy of his record from August of that season.
"I was just looking fastball," Perez said. "I got a good pitch."
Moose mans hot corner: Moustakas made a pair of tremendous plays from behind third base in the fifth inning. He nearly threw out Nicholas Castellanos on the fly from the line, but threw wide for a one-out single to start a Tigers rally. Three batters later, Moustakas ended the threat with a short-hop throw across the infield, with a nice scoop by Eric Hosmer, to rob Ian Kinsler.
"Any time Moose or Esky get near a ball, you have to be ready because they have such great arms," Hosmer said. "I just kind of straddled the bag and when I saw it would long hop, I moved back to give myself some more room. Moose made a great play."
Added Kennedy, "The things [Hosmer] can do with his hands and feet over there are amazing. He saved a hit and saved me some pitches."
"I've been working on a lot of things and I think I have to simplify, go out there and throw the baseball. Just thinking too much right now. I have to go out there and trust my stuff and get ahead of guys, and put them away when I can, instead of trying not to walk guys." -- Norris
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Royals now lead the all-time series with the Tigers, 335-334.
Royals: Rookie right-hander Jake Junis (2-1, 4.97 ERA) will make his sixth start for the Royals at 12:10 p.m. CT on Thursday in the series finale at Comerica Park. Junis went 6 1/3 innings on Friday, giving up two runs, during the Royals' 5-4 win over the Blue Jays.
Tigers: Right-hander Michael Fulmer (6-6, 3.29) gets the ball for Thursday's series finale at 1:10 p.m. ET against the Royals hoping for some run support after a 1-0 loss at San Diego in his last outing. Three of the Tigers' six shutouts this season have come in Fulmer's starts.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.