DETROIT — Prince Fielder hit a two-run, game-tying homer in the first, Delmon Young had a two-run home run to pad the lead in the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-7 Saturday.
Detroit closer Jose Valverde started the ninth with a four-run lead and almost lost it.
Valverde walked Alex Gordon on four pitches to lead off the inning, gave up a double to Alcides Escobar and walked Eric Hosmer to load the bases. All-Star Billy Butler hit a two-run single to pull Kansas City within two runs.
Yuniesky Betancourt nearly hit a go-ahead, three-run homer on a fly center fielder Austin Jackson tracked down near the wall in left-center. Jackson charged to make an underhanded catch on Mike Moustakas sacrifice fly for the second out and Jeff Francoeur struck out.
Detroit has a winning record for the first time since May 10. The Tigers have a four-game winning streak that matches their longest of the season.
The Royals have lost seven of nine with one game left before hosting the All-Star game on Tuesday night.
Doug Fister (2-6) gave up four runs in six-plus innings and snapped a three-game losing streak.
Fister, Darin Downs, Brayan Villarreal and Phil Coke combined to pitch a scoreless seventh. Joaquin Benoit struck out two in the eighth and Valverde pitched a very shaky ninth inning.
Bruce Chen (7-8) gave up six runs for the second straight game and allowed nine hits over 3 1-3 innings.
The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the first after Butler and Betancourt's RBI singles, but couldn't keep it. Jackson hit a leadoff single in the home half and scored on Fielder's 14th homer, a 382-foot shot to right center with two outs to make it 2-all.
Gerald Laird had an RBI double and Jackson, who extended his career long hitting streak to 14 games, had an RBI single in a three-run second that put the Tigers up 5-2.
Miguel Cabrera's sacrifice fly in the fourth gave Detroit a four-run lead.
Fister gave up two runs in the first, then pitched three scoreless innings before giving up Moustakas' two-out homer in the fifth to let Kansas City pull within three runs. Betancourt's sacrifice fly in the seventh off Villarreal cut Detroit's lead to two.
Young's two-out shot gave him his first three-game homer streak and put the Tigers ahead 8-4 in the seventh and they needed the big cushion to hold on for the win.NOTES: Detroit has a four-game winning streak for the third time this season. ... The Royals claimed C Adam Moore on waivers from the Seattle Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha on Saturday.