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Cain, Royals roll to series win over Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Yordano Ventura tossed six scoreless innings and Lorenzo Cain nearly hit for the cycle, coming up just a triple short, as the Royals rolled by the Tigers, 6-1, on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Cain had a double, two singles and a home run. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas each had two-run homers. Ventura tied a career high with six walks but he also tied a season high with eight strikeouts while allowing just two hits.

Video: [email protected]: Ventura fans eight over six scoreless frames

"I thought he was sharper tonight," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Ventura. "I know he had some walks but I thought his breaking ball was a lot better. The other day, we didn't see that same breaking ball."

Added Royals manager Ned Yost, "[Ventura] stayed calm and continued to make pitches all night. He wasn't crazy-wild. He was just missing.

"He was aggressively into the game tonight. You could tell by his body language. He was the old Ventura of last year -- he had all the confidence that, 'Hey, you can get a couple guys on but that's as far as it's going to go.'"

Anibal Sanchez lasted 5 1/3 innings for the Tigers and gave up seven hits and five runs. Rajai Davis drove in the lone Detroit run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Oh, that defense: The Royals turned in some more great defense. First, Cain cut off a would-be double from Tyler Collins, holding him to a single, in the fourth. After Collins was forced out and James McCann reached on a fielder's choice, Jefry Marte rifled a shot into the left-center field gap. But left fielder Jarrod Dyson made a quick grab off the wall and threw to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who gunned a strike to catcher Salvador Perez to nail McCann. With two on and two outs in the sixth, McCann ripped a liner headed toward left that Escobar snared and fired to second for a force. In the seventh, right fielder Paulo Orlando made a running catch in right to save two runs. More >

Video: [email protected]: Escobar nabs McCann at home with strong throw

Cain just misses the cycle: Cain, perhaps inspired by his favorite rapper Fetty Wap making an appearance before the game at Kauffman Stadium, responded with two singles, a double and a tremendous home run in the sixth -- that blast, his 12th, traveled 450 feet, according to Statcast™. His last single was down the right-field line and it appeared Cain had a double -- he was called out after the Tigers challenged successfully that his foot came off the bag.

Video: [email protected]: Statcast™ tracks Cain's long solo homer in 6th

Long ball bites Sanchez again: Royals batters entered the day slugging just .237 against Sanchez's offspeed pitches since 2013, but they teed off on him Tuesday for three home runs off three different pitches (fastball to Hosmer in first inning, slider to Cain in sixth, curveball to Moustakas soon after). The three homers accounted for all five runs off Sanchez, whose 28 homers allowed tie him with Minnesota's Phil Hughes for the Major League lead. More >

Video: [email protected]: Moustakas hits a two-run blast in the 6th

"I can't really explain it at this point," Ausmus said. "I don't think anyone could have predicted that Anibal Sanchez would have 28 home runs in the middle of August based on his history."

"They have great defense, everywhere. If you hit the ball up in the air, then you'd better hit that ball out, because those guys over there, they run [down] everything." -- Tigers DH Victor Martinez

Video: [email protected]: Escobar makes great diving grab to rob McCann

Just three Tigers pitchers have allowed 30 home runs in a season in the Comerica Park era. Mike Maroth did it in 2003 and '05, Hideo Nomo in '00 and Nate Robertson in '04. Sanchez is two homers away from joining the group.

The Royals challenged a double by Marte in the seventh, claiming that he came off the bag when second baseman Ben Zobrist applied the tag. The ruling on the field, though, was confirmed.

Video: [email protected]: Marte's double in the 7th is confirmed

The Tigers got an eighth-inning out on replay when they successfully argued Cain did not beat the tag at second base trying to stretch a single into a double. The reversal took one minute, 34 seconds, improving Detroit's record to 15 calls overturned out of 30 challenges this season.

Video: [email protected]: Cain's double overturned after challenge

Tigers: Detroit hands the ball to Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.24) Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. ET looking to avoid the Tigers' first three-game series sweep in Kansas City since Aug. 28-30, 2012. Norris' two outings as a Tiger were 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball at Baltimore and five runs over 3 1/3 innings last Friday against Boston.

Royals: Right-hander Edinson Volquez (11-6, 3.11 ERA) gets the start in the series finale at 7:10 p.m. CT. Volquez is coming off a seven-inning, one-run outing in a 3-2 win over the White Sox -- that was Volquez's fifth straight quality start..

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

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.
Read More: Anibal Sanchez, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Yordano Ventura