KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brandon Duckworth had an easy time keeping emotions in check during his first major league appearance in almost a year. His body was a different story.
"I was just trying to slow my body down. My body was getting out in front of me," the veteran right-hander said.
Despite falling behind 3-0 after seven batters, Duckworth settled down and went five shaky innings as Kansas City rallied to beat Detroit 7-3 on Sunday and snap a seven-game losing streak. It was Duckworth's first major league win as a starter in more than two years.
"It seems like a long time, I know that," he said.
Mark Teahen, back at third base this weekend for the first time since 2006, drove in three runs as the Royals beat Kenny Rogers (9-11) and won for just the third time in 17 games.
"It seemed like months since we'd had a four-run lead," manager Trey Hillman said.
Duckworth (1-0), brought up on Sunday from Triple-A Omaha, faced 24 batters and 11 reached base, on seven hits and four walks. He did not record a strikeout in getting his first major league win as a starter since beating Milwaukee on June 24, 2006.
"My arm wasn't getting up, which made the ball run all over the place," he said. "Early on, it wasn't the prettiest of lines or the prettiest of things. But I was able to kind of calm down a little bit and keep us there, make some pitches so they didn't get anything too out of hand. Guys were making good defensive plays. Just to hold them right there was big."
The four-year major league veteran hadn't won in the majors since last Sept. 25 when he was the winner in relief in a 9-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
"Five of the first six hitters caught the ball pretty good," Hillman said. "Even the outs were hit hard."
Rogers gave up eight hits and seven runs in six innings. While striking out four and walking four, the veteran left-hander fell to 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA in four starts this year against the struggling Royals.
With one out in the fifth, Alberto Callaspo singled and Mike Aviles singled to left, with the runners moving to second and third when left fielder Marcus Thames bobbled the ball for an error. Esteban German tied it 3-all with a sacrifice fly and then Aviles, after going to third on the play, put the Royals on top 4-3 on Rogers' wild pitch. One of the runs was earned.
With Jose Guillen on first base in the sixth, Thames had another costly misadventure when he misjudged Billy Butler's drive, first coming in on the ball and then not recovering in time to stop it from sailing over his head.
The play was ruled a double and a moment later pinch-runner Joey Gathright slid home safely from third on Miguel Olivo's grounder to shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Teahen then hit a two-run single to left. With the bases loaded, Thames ended the inning with a fine diving catch of David DeJesus' sinking liner.
"These are the ones you've got to nail down, when you've won two in a row here and got three runs in two innings," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "We came out smoking. We just didn't get that one extra hit. We made too many mistakes. You can't give extra outs at the major league level."
The Royals said Guillen, who had a solo home run in the second, was removed with tightness in his left leg.
"It's a little tight. It'll be OK," he said.
Duckworth loaded the bases in the second on a fielder's choice and two walks and Placido Polanco rifled a two-run single up the middle. Polanco had three hits for the second game in a row.
Magglio Ordonez had an RBI single in the first but was thrown out trying to score on Carlos Guillen's double into right.
"What should have been a good game for us turned into a not-so good game," Leyland said. "We had some good at-bats today and bad at-bats today."
Gathright's scoring from third was "a huge play," Leyland said.
"You can run at him and get the commitment. For their sake, it happens to be the right runner there," he said. "He's the one man who can get out of something like that for them. He can fly."
Since their last homestand, the Royals have lost about 10,000 seats in Kauffman Stadium because of ongoing renovation. ... Curtis Granderson walked seven times in the three-game series. ... Luke Hochevar, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft, was transferred Sunday from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. The right-hander ended his first full season with the Royals 6-12 and with a 5.51 ERA.