The Detroit Tigers (53-37) used two ninth inning home runs to crack open a one-run game and defeat the Kansas City Royals (47-46), 5-1, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Tigers starter Rick Porcello (12-5) continued his success with a steady 7 inning outing, only allowing one Royals run on six hits. Porcello's 12 wins is tied for the MLB lead and paces the Tigers headed into Monday's All-Star break.
Detroit was able to plate runners in innings three and four, establishing a 2-0 lead on the road. RBI singles from Ian Kinsler and Alex Avila, respectively, gave Porcello a large enough cushion to maintain his stretch of dominance.
Facing his biggest threat of the night in the bottom of the fifth, Porcello was able to whiff Lorenzo Cain with two outs and the bases loaded to keep the Royals off the scoreboard.
The Tigers righty only had one blemish in his start, which came in the form of a Billy Butler sacrifice fly in the 6th inning which scored Salvador Perez..
After the middle innings, neither team was able to produce offensively until the Tigers exploded in the top of the 9th inning. The one run lead was doubled on a solo shot from JD Martinez (13th), giving the Tigers a 3-1 advantage.
Of Martinez's 13 home runs this season, six of them have come in the ninth inning.
With Don Kelly on board and the Tigers leading by two, Alex Avila (7th) bashed a two run shot to right field that solidified Detroit's victory.
The Tigers are winners of five in a row and have scored 41 runs in those contests.
Saturday's win over the Royals gives the Tigers a 9-3 record against Kansas City on the season, including a 6-0 mark on the road at Kauffman Stadium in 2014.
The victory establishes a 7.5 game lead in the Central Division for the Tigers with one game remaining before the All-Star break.
The four game series will wrap up tomorrow at 2:10 pm, with coverage begining at 1:45 pm on AM 590 WKZO.