Gallagher, Keller leads Royals to series split with Tigers

Kansas City Royals’ Cam Gallagher flies out against the Detroit Tigers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

DETROIT, Mich. — Rookie Brad Keller pitched seven strong innings, Cam Gallagher broke a sixth-inning tie with a two-run single and the Kansas City Royals held on to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Sunday.

The teams split the four-game series that finished Detroit’s home season. The Royals won the season series 11-8.

The Royals led 3-1 in the ninth. Niko Goodrum led off the inning with a bunt single off Wily Peralta. Ronny Rodriguez added a one-out base hit, and Grayson Greiner walked to load the bases.

Victor Reyes hit a sacrifice fly to pull the Tigers within 3-2 before Peralta struck out Jim Adduci to earn his 13th save.

Keller (9-6) allowed one run on three hits, walking three and striking out two. He improved to 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last eight starts.

Daniel Norris needed 98 pitches to complete five innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks. He struck out three.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Adalberto Mondesi’s 12th home run and could have added to the margin in the third. Kansas City loaded the bases with one out, but Hunter Dozier grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Kansas City stranded two more batters in the fourth but had pushed Norris’ pitch count to 84.

Jeimer Candelario led off the fourth with a single — Detroit’s first hit — and Christin Stewart moved him to third with a hit-and-run single before Nicholas Castellanos tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

The Royals regained the lead with two runs in the sixth off Drew VerHagen (3-3). With two out, Alcides Escobar and Rosell Herrera singled before Herrera stole second. Gallagher blooped a ball to shallow left, and Stewart couldn’t make a sliding catch.

GET IN THERE

Harold Castro made his major league debut, entering as a pinch-runner for Greiner in the ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: CF JaCoby Jones missed the game after aggravating a shoulder injury while attempting a diving catch on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Royals: Start a two-game series in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Eric Skoglund (1-5, 5.60 ERA) starts the opener against Matt Harvey (7-9, 4.92).

Tigers: Begin a three-game series in Minnesota on Tuesday, with Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 10.80) taking the mound.