By Dave Hart
Tigers 8, Royals 3 – The Tigers opened their final home stand with an important series opening win against the defending champion Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
The Royals responded with a run in the sixth inning to cut their deficit to 6-1.
The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 8-1 lead before Kansas City closed out the scoring with two in the ninth.
Detroit was paced by Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Justin Upton with two hits apiece.
Detroit’s starting pitcher Michael Fulmer tossed the victory, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out nine batters in seven innings.
The Royals were led by Whit Merrifield and Kendrys Morales with two hits each.
The Tigers are now 83-70 on the season and lead the Baltimore Orioles by one game for the final playoff spot with nine contests remaining.
Detroit will look for its fifth straight win on Saturday with a victory over the Royals.
2nd Place in AL Central Division (7 games behind first-place Cleveland)
1 game ahead of Baltimore for the last playoff spot
Magic # to clinch a playoff spot: 9
Magic # to clinch an AL Central Division title: 17
Misery # to AL Central Division elimination: 3
Misery # to playoff elimination: 11
Next Game: 09/24/2016 vs Kansas City Royals 1:10 p.m. @ Comerica Park
Hitting stats: Cameron Maybin HR (4) 2 RBI (41), Victor Martinez HR (26) 2 RBI (82), Justin Upton 2B (25) HR (27) 2 RBI (81), J.D. Martinez RBI (63), Ian Kinsler 2B (27), Jose Iglesias 2B (23).
Pitching stats: Michael Fulmer W (11-7) 7 IP 8 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 9 K.