KANSAS CITY -- Hold it. There would be no sweeping indictment of the Detroit Tigers in this series.
The Tigers, struggling to stay afloat in the American League Central race, rebounded from two losses for a 6-1 victory over the Royals on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Jeremy Bonderman stymied the Royals for seven innings to keep the Tigers from falling farther behind the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers had lost eight of their previous 12 games.
Royals starter Leo Nunez was breezing through the pleasant 80-degree afternoon with hardly a care. Then the Tigers rudely interrupted his stroll in the fifth inning.
Nunez had just recorded his fourth straight strikeout when, boom, Curtis Granderson launched his 18th home run over the right-field wall to snap a 1-1 tie.
Placido Polanco doubled and so did Timo Perez for another run. And it was a sure sign of trouble when Magglio Ordonez hung around the batter's box just to see if his soaring drive would be fair or foul.
Clank. The ball ricocheted high off the left-field foul pole, a two-run homer. Had not the pole intervened, the Royals calculated that the home run would have traveled 421 feet. Nunez was now at the wrong end of a 5-1 score.
He pitched on, though, until there were two on and one out in the seventh. The Tigers got 12 hits off him but no walks. Rookie Billy Buckner took over for his second appearance since being called up from Omaha.
Batting against Jeremy Bonderman, the Royals got a fourth-inning run on Billy Butler's triple into the right-field corner and Alex Gordon's single.