DETROIT — Mike Moustakas hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Kansas City Royals outlasted the Detroit Tigers 8-5 on Sunday to earn a split of their four-game series.
Abraham Almonte hit a grand slam in the sixth to give the Royals a 5-2 lead, but Detroit tied it with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Kansas City took the lead again when Drew VerHagen (0-1) walked two batters in the seventh and Moustakas hit a drive to right off Buck Farmer.
The Royals won for only the second time in 12 games, and Moustakas extended his hitting streak to 14.
Kevin McCarthy (1-0) became the first Kansas City reliever credited with a win this season, although that came after he let the lead slip away in the sixth. Brian Flynn pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Royals, and Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
Detroit starter Francisco Liriano took a no-hitter into the sixth before Whit Merrifield led off with a homer to left. With two on and one out, Alex Wilson came on in relief and walked his first batter to load the bases. Almonte followed with a drive to right for his second career grand slam.
Royals starter Eric Skoglund walked the first two hitters of the bottom of the sixth, then was relieved by McCarthy. Nicholas Castellanos greeted him with an RBI single, and an error by left fielder Paulo Orlando left men at second and third. One out later, JaCoby Jones hit an RBI single, and James McCann added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-all.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI groundout by Miguel Cabrera and a run-scoring single by Castellanos.
Castellanos had three hits.
Royals: C Salvador Perez (left knee sprain) caught seven innings and went 3 for 4 with a homer Saturday night on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha. … OF Alex Gordon (left hip tear) went 1 for 2 with two walks. “They’re close,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
Both teams are off Monday. The Royals begin a two-game home series against Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Kansas City sends RHP Ian Kennedy (1-2) to the mound against RHP Zach Davies (1-2).
The Tigers begin a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, with Detroit RHP Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) facing RHP Chad Kuhl (2-1).