If the Royals felt comfortable at any time past the sixth inning of their 12-9 win over the Tigers on Thursday night, they shouldn’t have. After holding a moderate lead through the first six and a half innings of the game, Kansas City found Detroit threatening their advantage at every turn.
Matt Stairs started a six-RBI night with a two run homer in the top of the first to drive in the first and second run of the game. It was his ninth homer o the season. Kansas City led 4-1, thanks to an RBI double by David DeJesus in the fifth and Angel Berroa’s RBI triple in the sixth.
Royals’ starter Zack Greinke allowed a lead off home run to Chris Shelton and later walked Rondell White with one out. He was pulled for Ambiorix Burgos who got the final two outs of the inning and the Royals led 4-2.
Kansas City added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning with RBI’s from Terrence Long, who doubled and Emil Brown, who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Up 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh Detroit cut the lead to 6-5 on a solo home run by center fielder Craig Moore, a sacrifice fly by Moore and an RBI single from Maglio Ordonez.
Not satisfied with a one-run lead late in the game, the Royals exploded for six runs in the top of the eighth. The bulk of the burst came again from Stairs, who capped the rally with a grand slam.
The six-run lead was whittled down in the bottom of the eighth when Mark Teahen committed a throwing error on a Demitri Young grounder and a run scored. Brad Inge, Shelton and Ordonez all drove in runs with singles to make it 12-9. Mike Wood was on the mound for two of the runs and Jeremy Affeldt was on the mound for the other two, though none of the runs were earned. Affeldt was able to get out of the inning with the lead.
Reliever Mike MacDougal worked around a one-out single by Young and a two-out single by Omar Infante to earn his 12th save of the season. Greinke, who allowed two runs off five hits, three walks and three strikeouts improved to 2-11. It was his first win in seven starts.