|Kansas City (58-87)||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||10||1|
|Detroit (78-67) «||0||0||0||2||0||2||0||0||x||4||10||0|
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers gave their fans plenty to cheer about Wednesday night.
First the team honored long-time radio announcer Ernie Harwell, then the Tigers went out and beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 to maintain their lead in the AL Central.
Placido Polanco singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the sixth inning as the Tigers, seeking their first division title since 1987, reduced their magic number to 13. Detroit leads Minnesota by 4½ games.
"That's just the way we've played games all year," said Detroit shortstop Adam Everett, who drove in two runs, including the tying run in the sixth. "I don't know how to explain it. They've been beating us up pretty good and to get a win, and win in that fashion, was big for us."
The victory ended the Tigers' five-game skid against Kansas City.
Detroit saluted Harwell, who recently said he has inoperable cancer, during the third inning. The team showed a three-minute video tribute then the Hall of Fame announcer gave a thank-you speech to an appreciative and tearful crowd of 25,400.
"I think he really said some nice words," reliever Zach Miner said of Harwell, who spoke to the team before the game. "I think everyone kind of took it to heart and kind of realized that it's a game."
The 91-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster was in the Detroit booth from 1960 to 2002.
Miner (7-5) and three other relievers kept the Royals scoreless over the final five innings. Fernando Rodney worked the ninth to earn his 33rd save in 34 chances.
Everett and Curtis Granderson each drove in a run in Detroit's two-run fourth and Everett added his tying RBI single off starter Lenny DiNardo (0-1) in the sixth. Reliever Jamey Wright gave up Polanco's hit with two outs.
Kansas City had runners at second and third to start the eighth after Bobby Seay gave up consecutive singles, but Brandon Lyon came on to induce a grounder to the mound and a strikeout before getting Alberto Callaspo to pop up to first.
"Obviously what Lyon did tonight was game-saving," Leyland said.
The Royals lost their lead baserunner three times, including in the third when Yuniesky Betancourt was thrown out at the plate by Ryan Raburn. Tigers catcher Gerald Laird later caught his majors-best 34th runner trying to steal, when Willie Bloomquist failed to swipe second.
"Situational hitting and defense -- were weren't at either one and it cost us," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said.
Maier and Miguel Olivo had RBI singles and Alex Gordon added a sacrifice fly against starter Eddie Bonine.
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.280|
|Mitch Maier, RF-CF||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||.254|
|Billy Butler, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.299|
|Mike Jacobs, DH||3||1||1||0||1||1||2||.235|
|Alberto Callaspo, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.297|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||0||1||1||0||2||0||.249|
|Alex Gordon, 3B||3||1||1||1||0||1||0||.204|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.239|
|Josh Anderson, CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.242|
|a- Willie Bloomquist, PH-RF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.267|
|a-singled for Anderson in the 7th|
|2B - Mitch Maier (15, Bonine), Alberto Callaspo (35, Bonine), Yuniesky Betancourt (19, Bonine)|
|SF - Alex Gordon (1)|
|RBI - Mitch Maier (26), Miguel Olivo (55), Alex Gordon (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mitch Maier (12)|
|CS - Willie Bloomquist (5, 2nd base by Seay/Laird)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Alex Gordon (7, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Lenny DiNardo (L,0-1)||5.1||9||4||4||1||2||0||5.23|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lenny DiNardo 104-75, Jamey Wright 23-12, Roman Colon 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lenny DiNardo 9-6, Jamey Wright 1-0, Roman Colon 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Lenny DiNardo 27, Jamey Wright 6, Roman Colon 5|
|Ryan Raburn, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.281|
|a- Aubrey Huff, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.244|
|Clete Thomas, LF-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.242|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||4||0||2||1||1||0||0||.278|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.291|
|Don Kelly, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.240|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||3||0||2||0||1||0||1||.333|
|Marcus Thames, DH||4||1||0||0||0||2||5||.250|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.233|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.250|
|Gerald Laird, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.226|
|Adam Everett, SS||4||0||2||2||0||1||0||.244|
|a-struck out for Raburn in the 6th|
|2B - Gerald Laird (22, DiNardo), Adam Everett (20, DiNardo)|
|RBI - Placido Polanco (65), Curtis Granderson (63), Adam Everett 2 (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco (30), Adam Everett (16)|
|SB - Miguel Cabrera (6, 2nd base off DiNardo/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Outfield Assists - Magglio Ordonez 1, Ryan Raburn 1|
|DP - Everett-Cabrera|
|Zach Miner (W,7-5)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.52|
|Bobby Seay (H,27)||1||3||0||0||0||1||0||3.61|
|Brandon Lyon (H,13)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.87|
|Fernando Rodney (S,33)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.88|
|HBP - DeJesus (by Eddie Bonine)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Eddie Bonine 82-52, Zach Miner 10-5, Bobby Seay 21-15, Brandon Lyon 11-6, Fernando Rodney 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eddie Bonine 7-4, Zach Miner 1-0, Bobby Seay 1-0, Brandon Lyon 1-1, Fernando Rodney 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Eddie Bonine 21, Zach Miner 3, Bobby Seay 5, Brandon Lyon 3, Fernando Rodney 3|
|Attendance - 25400|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Gary Darling|