Prince Fielder drove in three runs Friday, two of them with a fourth-inning homer, helping power Detroit to a 6-3 victory over Kansas City.
The Tigers expanded their lead to six games over Cleveland in the American League Central and reduced their magic number for clinching the division to 10.
Detroit built a 6-1 lead through five innings on the way to its third straight win.
Fielder’s home run, his 24th of the season, snapped a 1-1 tie and Detroit added three runs in the fifth, one of them coming home on a Fielder single. The other two runs in the fifth scored on a base hit from Torii Hunter.
Justin Verlander (13-11) worked 6 2/3 innings to get the win, giving up three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts. It was his first victory since Aug. 6, having gone 0-3 in six starts since then.
Bruce Chen (7-3) served up five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 to take the loss. The Royals outhit the Tigers 10-7.