Royals set season high for runs and hits in 16-4 rout of Tigers 16-4

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 20: Catcher Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring during the 3rd inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on July 20, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brandon Moss drove in four runs, Mike Moustakas had three RBIs and the Kansas City Royals routed the error-prone Detroit Tigers 16-4 on Thursday night.

Eric Hosmer and Whit Merrifield homered for the Royals, who moved within 1½ games of first-place Cleveland in the AL Central. The 16 runs and 19 hits were season highs for Kansas City.

Detroit committed three errors in the Royals’ four-run first inning, when only one run was earned. It was the most errors the Tigers have made in an inning since May 1, 2010.

Michael Fulmer, the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year, threw 37 pitches in the first. The heat index was 107 when the game started.

Fulmer (10-7), who had won his previous four starts, was removed after facing 18 batters. He retired only eight, and eight scored. It was the shortest outing of his career.

Hosmer hit his 14th homer in the four-run third, a prodigious 444-foot shot. Merrifield homered in a four-run sixth off Chad Bell.

Moss, who had three hits and two RBIs in Wednesday’s victory, drilled a two-out, two-run double to right-center in the third. Alex Gordon doubled home Moss to chase Fulmer.

Danny Duffy (6-6) was staked to an 8-0 lead, but struggled to make it into the sixth inning. Ian Kinsler had a two-run double for Detroit in a three-run fifth.

Duffy faced three batters in the sixth and gave up three hits and a run, on Miguel Cabrera’s single. With Victor Martinez coming to the plate and two runners on in an 8-4 game, Mike Minor replaced Duffy and retired all three batters he faced.

The Royals expanded their lead with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Hosmer and Salvador Perez each hit an RBI single, and Moustakas had a sacrifice fly.

The Royals sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run eighth, highlighted by Moss’ two-run single.

Duffy gave up nine hits, walked none and struck out four.

ROMINE IN RIGHT

Andrew Romine made his first career start in right field. He has started at every position but pitcher and catcher this season for the Tigers.

CALL CHANGED

Official scorer David Boyce’s call Sunday has been overturned by Major League Baseball. Instead of giving Lorenzo Cain a game-ending single against Texas, it was changed to an error on Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (left groin strain) will make a second minor league rehab start to get his pitch count up to around 90.

Royals: RHP Nathan Karns had season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in Dallas. The Royals are optimistic he will be ready around spring training. . Manager Ned Yost said closer Kelvin Herrera, who has been battling a sore throat and a fever, was feeling “a little better, a little stronger.”

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez starts the series opener Friday at Minnesota. He is 5-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Twins, who counter with All-Star RHP Ervin Santana.

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy tries to snap a 12-start winless drought at Kauffman Stadium when he faces the White Sox on Friday. Ex-Royals RHP James Shields will be the Chicago starter.