KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas had three hits and three RBIs, Brandon Moss drove in a season-high four runs, and every Royals starter had at least one hit as Kansas City cruised to a 16-4 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.The Royals, who had season highs
KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas had three hits and three RBIs, Brandon Moss drove in a season-high four runs, and every Royals starter had at least one hit as Kansas City cruised to a 16-4 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals, who had season highs in runs and hits with 19, returned to .500 and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Indians in the American League Central. The Royals scored four runs in four innings for the first time in franchise history.
"I feel good," said Moss, who on Wednesday had three hits, including a home run. "That's the first time this year I can say that and not be afraid to say it. I'm not swinging 120 percent on every pitch."
Tigers All-Star right-hander Michael Fulmer was abandoned by his defense in the first inning, when the Tigers committed three errors and missed a tag at home plate, all of which contributed to a 4-0 Royals lead. Fulmer lasted 2 2/3 innings -- his shortest stint in the Major Leagues -- and gave up seven hits and eight runs (five earned).
"I could have made some better pitch-selection calls, obviously some better pitches," Fulmer said. "But you have to understand that stuff happens sometimes, and that was the case tonight, I think for everybody. And as a pitching staff, we take accountability for it."
• Fulmer chased early after defense's miscues
Left-hander Danny Duffy went five-plus innings and gave up nine hits and four runs for the Royals. Whit Merrifield hit his eighth home run.
"I think I just got a little tired," Duffy said. "I probably didn't deserve a win. But the guys really came through today."
• Perez fires up KC with wheels, rare steal
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Chasing Fulmer:Eric Hosmer started the Royals' third with his 14th home run, a shot that traveled an estimated 444 per Statcast™, making it the longest home run off Fulmer since he became a big leaguer. But it was back-to-back doubles by Moss and Alex Gordon that chased Fulmer in the third with two out. Moss hit a two-run double and Gordon drilled an RBI double, making it 8-0.
"It was just one of those nights," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We got those four in the first, which was nice, but we wanted to tack on, too, and we did that."
Tigers charge, missed DP? Trailing 8-0, the Tigers made it interesting quickly in the fifth. With one out and runners on first and second, Andrew Romine sent a hard one-hopper to Hosmer behind first. Hosmer fired to second for one out, but Duffy did not cover first, so there was no return throw for a potential double play. Jose Iglesias delivered an RBI single, and Ian Kinsler followed with a two-run double and suddenly it was 8-3. But Duffy said he had no chance at beating Romine to the bag.
"I'm fast, but I'm not that fast," Duffy said.
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• Miguel Cabrera collected the 1,600th RBI of his career on his sixth-inning single. He's the 33rd player in Major League history to reach the milestone, according to statistics from Elias Sports Bureau.
• Gordon made his second five-star catch of this series in the eighth inning, taking away a hit from Michael Mahtook with a diving catch -- it had a 12 percent catch probability. Gordon covered 31 feet in 2.7 seconds.
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
The Royals challenged a safe call on a pickoff attempt at second base in the second inning. Mahtook, who had doubled, slid back feet-first into the base when Duffy threw back, but Merrifield used his foot to block the bag. After a safe call was made, Merrifield motioned to the Royals' dugout to challenge the call. After review, the call was overturned. The pickoff was Duffy's third this year.
Tigers: The road trip continues Friday in Minnesota, where Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 6.08 ERA) gets the start for the opener of a three-game series against the Twins. Sanchez will be looking to rebound from a three-homer outing Sunday. First pitch at Target Field is set for 8:10 p.m. ET. More >>
Royals: The homestand continues as the Royals open a three-game set with the White Sox on Friday at 7:15 p.m. CT. White Sox starter James Shields will face his former teammates in Kansas City for the first time since leaving in free agency after helping the Royals to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Right-hander Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.32 ERA) will start for the Royals. More >>
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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.