DETROIT (AP) — Eric Hosmer matched his career high with five hits, including his first major league grand slam, and the Kansas City Royals extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games with a 16-2 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
Hosmer entered with 117 homers but had not hit one with the bases loaded until he connected off Warwick Saupold in a nine-run seventh inning. Hosmer had six RBIs and scored four runs.
Bruce Rondon was ejected with one out in the ninth after hitting Mike Moustakas on the back with a pitch, which caused both benches to empty. Utilityman Andrew Romine entered in his third big league pitching appearance and faced five batters, allowing a walk, RBI single, sacrifice fly, hit batter and flyout.
Ian Kennedy (4-6) improved to 3-0 in his last six starts, allowing one run and three hits in six innings.
Anibal Sanchez (2-1) had his worst start since returning in mid-June from a month-long demotion to the minor leagues. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Hosmer reached on an infield single in the second, stole second and scored when Alcides Escobar singled on a 66 mph changeup. Kansas City made it 4-0 in the third on run-scoring singles by Jorge Bonifacio, Hosmer and Brandon Moss.
Jose Iglesias doubled in Detroit’s first run in the fifth, and Moustakas’ RBI single off Chad Bell sparked the big inning. Hosmer homered on a changeup, a drive over the out-of-town scoreboard, for a 13-1 lead.
Royals: C Salvador Perez did not play, a day after leaving a game with right-side tightness in his ribs. “Could he have started tonight? Yeah,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “In fact, he fought me about it, but with a day off tomorrow, we can give him two full days of rest.”
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (left groin) had a second MRI on an injury that has sidelined him since the All-Star break. The test showed no further damage. He received a cortisone shot and will rest for several days.
Romine has played every position excepted catcher this season. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said this week he might let Romine catch an inning on the last day of the season if the Tigers have been eliminated. With a ninth-inning single, Romine became the second player in Comerica Park history to get a hit and pitch in the same game. Shane Halter had four hits on Oct. 1, 2000, a game in which he played all nine positions.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (12-4, 3.08) is scheduled to start Friday’s series opener at Boston, which opens with LHP David Price (5-3, 3.82).
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 5.81) is slated to start at home Friday against Houston.