AP - Apr 16, 9:57 pm EDT
DETROIT (AP) - Seven months later, the Detroit Tigers managed to beat the Kansas City Royals.
Ivan Rodriguez had a grand slam and six RBIs to back Justin Verlander's first win of the season in the Tigers' 12-5 victory over the Royals on Monday night.
Carlos Guillen had four RBIs for the Tigers, who were swept by last-place Kansas City on the final weekend of last season, costing Detroit the AL Central title. As a wild-card team, Detroit beat the New York Yankees and Oakland in the playoffs, advancing to its first World Series since 1984 before losing in five games to St. Louis.
After the Tigers loaded the bases on a single and two walks in the first against Zack Greinke (1-2), Rodriguez fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before driving a 1-2 offering over the wall in right-center. It was the sixth career slam for Rodriguez, a drive estimated at 423 feet. He added a two-run double in the second off Jason Standridge that put the Tigers ahead 7-2.
Detroit has three slams in 13 games - Curtis Granderson hit one on April 4 against Toronto and Craig Monroe had one in Baltimore on April 11. There was one grand slam in the entire National League entering Monday.