KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bruce Chen picked up Kansas City's beleaguered starters with seven solid innings and the Royals defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Sunday.
Chen (7-2), who moved into the rotation on July 12 after 19 relief appearances, limited the Tigers to five hits and two runs over seven innings, earning the first victory for a starter on the Royals' seven-game homestand. The starters entered the game with an 8.00 ERA in the first six games, allowing 24 runs on 41 hits and 16 walks in 27 innings.
Eric Hosmer, who had three hits for his 53rd multi-hit game, blasted a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth inning and the Royals took the final two games of this series from the division-leading Tigers after losing 16-2 Friday.
Hosmer hit Doug Fister's 2-2 pitch out to center after Alex Gordon and Emilo Bonifacio singled with two outs.
Fister (12-8) allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Greg Holland allowed Prince Fielder's double with two out in the ninth, but collected his 40th save in 43 chances.
Jose Iglesias, who had not played since leaving the game Wednesday with shin splints, homered in the third inning after Alex Avila had singled, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
It was Iglesias' second home run since the Tigers acquired him in a July 30 trade with Boston.
The Royals got a run in the fourth when Billy Butler's ground ball single to left scored Bonifacio, who walked to lead off the inning.
Jarrod Dyson led off the Royals' seventh with a triple into the left-field corner and scored when Gordon dunked a fly ball into shallow right over a drawn in Tigers infield.
Chen pitched out of trouble in the sixth. After Austin Jackson led off with a double, Chen struck out Torii Hunter to bring up Miguel Cabrera, who had five career home runs off Chen in 36 at-bats. This time Cabrera hit a comebacker and Chen threw out Jackson at third. Chen fell behind 3-0 to Fielder, who then looked at the next three pitches - all strikes.
NOTES: Fielder played in his 486th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the majors. . C Salvador Perez, who hit a two-run homer Saturday night, was not in the Royals lineup Sunday. Manager Ned Yost said he decided to rest Perez with temperatures reaching 100 degrees and the Royals in a stretch of 44 games in 44 days. . Tigers manager Jim Leyland said OF Nick Castellanos would start again Monday after making his first major league start Saturday. "He's got a feel for hitting," Leyland said. "He's a confident kid in the batter's box. He looks natural in the batter's box."