Whit Merrifield homered on the first pitch of the game, and the Royals never looked back, beating the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight win.

KC remains 1 1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland.

Merrifield homered to left-center off Michael Fulmer (10-8) to open the scoring, and the Royals added two runs in the fourth.

Danny Duffy (7-6) allowed a run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, his best outing since returning from the DL.

Kelvin Herrera picked up his 21st save in 24 chances.