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Tigers rake with early HRs to cruise past KC

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Ian Kinsler had three hits, including two triples and a double, and Nicholas Castellanos and Mike Mahtook each smashed two-run home runs as the Tigers cruised to a 10-2 win over the Royals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

"Sometimes we think it should happen every day, but it doesn't," manager Brad Ausmus said. "But that's the type of offense we think we have."

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KANSAS CITY -- Ian Kinsler had three hits, including two triples and a double, and Nicholas Castellanos and Mike Mahtook each smashed two-run home runs as the Tigers cruised to a 10-2 win over the Royals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

"Sometimes we think it should happen every day, but it doesn't," manager Brad Ausmus said. "But that's the type of offense we think we have."

View Full Game Coverage

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who came into the game with a 6.99 road ERA, scattered seven hits through 6 2/3 innings while walking none and striking out seven.

"I had pretty good command of all four pitches today," Zimmermann said. "It's one of those days where it's definitely fun to be out there, and I'm glad we got the win."

Royals All-Star left-hander Jason Vargas delivered his second straight rough outing, giving up six runs and seven hits through 2 2/3 innings, while walking four (one intentional). In his last two starts, Vargas, who entered the game with an American League-best 1.84 home ERA, has given up 13 runs and 15 hits through 7 2/3 innings, and his ERA has risen to 3.06.

"He just wasn't sharp," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "HIs pitches were kind of flat. Just one of those nights for him."

Video: DET@KC: Escobar leaves game after HBP on wrist

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar left the game after being hit in the left wrist by a Zimmermann fastball, while Eric Hosmer hit his 13th home run. The exit velocity was 112.1 mph, according to Statcast™, making it his hardest-hit home run of the season. After the game, Yost said X-rays on Escobar's wrist were negative and he would be day to day.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big-time blast: Any hope of a Royals comeback seemed to vanish in the third inning when Mahtook jumped on a two-seam fastball and launched a two-run shot into the fountain in left-center field, his fifth of the season. That gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead, and three batters later, after Kinsler's second triple, Vargas exited the game.

Video: DET@KC: Mahtook rocks two-run homer to left-center

Stop right there: The Royals did have a chance to jump back into the game when they started the second inning with consecutive singles from Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez. But Zimmerman got Mike Moustakas to pop out, then he struck out Alcides Escobar and Brandon Moss to end the threat.

QUOTABLE
"All my friends were texting me, 'Where are you getting traded?' Mom texted." -- Tigers outfielder and potential trade piece J.D. Martinez, who left the game in the sixth inning with lower back tightness

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers are 2-24 in games they don't hit a home run, and now 15 games over .500 when they do.

Zimmermann threw 79 strikes out of 97 pitches, an 81 percent strike rate that ranks as the best by a Tigers starter with 80 pitches or more since at least 1988, according to research from FOX Sports Detroit and STATS. It's also the best by a Major League starter since 2008.

Video: DET@KC: Zimmermann fans seven across 6 2/3 innings

"I looked up in the fourth or fifth and saw how many balls I threw and couldn't hardly believe it," Zimmermann said. "I was just trying to get strike one and strike two and then try to put them away."

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
The Tigers challenged a foul-ball call on a liner down the right-field line in the seventh inning by Victor Martinez. The call was ruled to stand.

Video: DET@KC: V-Mart's hit ruled foul, call stands

WHAT'S NEXT
Tigers: Left-hander Matthew Boyd (2-5 5.69 ERA) returns from a six-week stint at Triple-A Toledo to face the team that roughed him up in his last start for the Tigers on May 31 as this series continues at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals: Left-hander Travis Wood (1-2, 6.06) will make his second start with the Royals when he faces the Tigers on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. CT. In his first start on July 2, Wood went four-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits.

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

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.