DETROIT — Detroit rookie first baseman Niko Goodrum dropped Jon Jay’s grounder and then made a wild throw, allowing the tie-breaking run to score in the ninth inning as the Kansas City Royals snapped a nine-game losing streak, rallying past the Tigers 3-2 Friday night in the second game of a split doubleheader.
Detroit won the afternoon opener 3-2 on a 10th-inning solo homer by JaCoby Jones.
The Tigers led 2-1 in the ninth of the nightcap before pinch hitter Abraham Almonte lined a tying single with one out. With runners at first and second, Jay hit a grounder to Goodrum, who didn’t handle it cleanly. Goodrum then he compounded his problems by flipping the ball over the head of pitcher Shane Greene (1-1), who was covering the bag.
Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his third save, ended Detroit’s four-game winning streak.
Jakob Junis (3-1) allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings for the Royals.
With one out in the 10th inning of the first game, Jones hit a fastball from Brad Keller (0-1) deep to left and immediately put up his right index finger in celebration.
“I was worried as the ball got toward the wall, because I was going to look stupid if it didn’t go out,” he said. “That’s the best feeling in baseball.”
Joe Jimenez (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th in the opener.
Royals starter Jason Hammel allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in nine innings in the afternoon game, matching the longest outing of his career. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
Alcides Escobar led off the ninth with a flyball to deep left, but Jones made a leaping catch at the wall.
Mike Moustakas homered in the first game for Kansas City, and Whit Merrifield went deep in the nightcap.
Alex Gordon was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Friday night. Gordon has been out since April 10 with a left hip tear. Salvador Perez (knee) caught seven innings on Thursday for Double-A Memphis and was expected to join Gordon in Omaha.
Detroit sends RHP Mike Fiers (1-1) to the mound to face Kansas City LHP Danny Duffy (0-2) on Saturday.