Fulmer sharp as playoff-chasing Tigers rout Royals

Detroit Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, left, and relief pitcher Shane Greene shake hands after their team's 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Michael Fulmer pitched seven sharp innings for his first win in over a month and the Detroit Tigers homered three times in an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Justin Upton, Victor Martinez and Cameron Maybin went deep for the Tigers, who won their fifth game in a row while chasing a postseason spot in the American League.

Fulmer (11-7) allowed a run and eight hits, striking out nine with no walks. It was the first victory since Aug. 14 for Fulmer, who emerged around midseason as a Rookie of the Year candidate but is now having to fight off a torrid challenge from Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees.

Danny Duffy (12-3) allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out four.

The Tigers came into the night a half-game ahead of Baltimore for the second wild card, and they jumped ahead right away against Duffy. The Royals made two errors in the first inning, and Upton’s RBI double made it 2-0.

Martinez and Upton each hit solo shots in the third, and Maybin’s two-run homer in the fourth made it 6-0.

Upton has 27 homers on the season, including 14 in his last 29 games.

Kansas City has lost nine of its last 12.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Kansas City C Salvador Perez sat out with what manager Ned Yost described as a very minor knee issue.

Tigers: 2B Ian Kinsler returned to the lineup from a concussion after missing three games. He had a single, a double, two walks and three runs. … SS Jose Iglesias left in the top of the seventh with a bruised right hand. X-rays were negative.

UP NEXT

Royals: Kansas City sends RHP Yordano Ventura (11-11) to the mound for Saturday’s game at Detroit. Ventura is coming off a complete game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.

Tigers: Detroit starts LHP Daniel Norris (3-2) in the middle game of this series.

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