DETROIT (AP) — Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 5-1 Tuesday night.
The game was overshadowed by an afternoon announcement that Dave Dombrowski was being replaced as Detroit’s general manager by his top assistant, Al Avila. In 14 years with the Tigers, Dombrowski took one of the worst franchises in the game and took it to six postseason appearances including World Series losses in 2006 and 2012.
Detroit came into the season looking for a fifth straight AL Central title, but now trail the Royals by 12 1/2 games.
Danny Duffy (5-5) allowed one run on five hits and four walks in seven innings, only striking out two.
Justin Verlander (1-4) struggled in his ninth start of the season, allowing five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter for a career-best third straight start, but the Tigers are now 1-8 in his outings this year.
Perez drove in Kansas City’s first three runs, hitting an RBI single in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth. He came into the game with a .429 career batting average and .714 slugging percentage against Verlander.
Former Tiger Omar Infante doubled to lead off the fifth, took third on Alcides Escobar’s sacrifice fly and scored on Ben Zobrist’s sacrifice fly to deep right.
Detroit loaded the bases with one out in their half of the fifth, but Anthony Gose grounded into a force at the plate and Rajai Davis popped out.
Alex Rios increased the Royals lead to 5-0 with a bloop double in the sixth, scoring Kendrys Morales, but the Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the inning on Victor Martinez’s RBI single.
Detroit threatened again in the seventh, as Nick Castellanos led off with a triple and Jefry Marte followed with a walk. Gose grounded to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who looked Castellanos back to the base before throwing to second for the force.
Castellanos then broke for the plate, and Omar Infante threw home to retire him easily and end the threat.
Royals: Duffy continued to pitch very well since returning from the disabled list with biceps tendinits. Duffy is 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA in eight starts since returning from the injury in late June.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein (shoulder) threw on the side with Triple-A Toledo. Lobstein, who has been out since May 24, is expected to begin a rehab stint with the Mud Hens this week. … Tigers manager Brad Ausmus did not have any update on Miguel Cabrera (calf), who has begun agility drills in advance of an expected return later this month.
The teams play the second of their three-game series Wednesday afternoon, with both teams pitching deadline acquisitions. Johnny Cueto (7-6, 2.70) makes his second start for the Royals, while Matt Boyd (0-2, 14.85) will make his Tigers debut after being acquired for David Price. In Boyd’s last major-league start — the second of his career — he faced seven Red Sox without retiring a batter.