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Missed opportunities plague Royals in 4-2 loss to the Tigers

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DETROIT (AP) — Max Scherzer escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez homered, and the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 4-2 on Tuesday night to pull within percentage points of the Royals atop the AL Central.

Scherzer (16-5) allowed a run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. Kansas City was down 3-1 in the fifth when Alex Gordon’s deep fly to right went just foul with two on. Gordon walked to load the bases with one out, but Salvador Perez lined out and Eric Hosmer struck out.

Joe Nathan earned his 30th save in 36 chances, allowing two infield singles to start the ninth before ending it with two strikeouts sandwiched around a picked-off runner. With men on first and second and one out, Jarrod Dyson strayed away from second base and couldn’t scamper back to the bag before getting tagged by Ian Kinsler.

Kansas City’s Jason Vargas (11-8) allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings.