KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Everybody in Detroit’s lineup had at least one hit and scored one run, their season-best offensive onslaught spurring the Tigers to a 16-4 rout of the Kansas City Royals in the opener of their four-game series Thursday night.
The Tigers established a season-high for runs just two days after their 14-5 blitzing of the Dodgers, and took a 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Royals in the AL Central.
Drew Smyly (5-8) allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk in 6 2-3 innings for Detroit.
Jeremy Guthrie (5-8) gave up a career-worst eight earned runs on eight hits, three walks and two hit batters. He was mercifully pulled with no outs in the fifth, which means the Royals’ veteran has now allowed 16 earned runs in eight-plus innings covering his last two starts.
The Tigers stunned the Royals with three runs in the first, added three more in the fourth and delivered the haymaker with a season-best eight-run fifth. Detroit wound up with 19 hits in the game, getting at least one hit and one run from all 11 players who stepped to the plate.
Torii Hunter led the charge, leading off the fifth with a homer and adding a single later in the inning to finish with three RBIs. Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez also drove in three, and Ian Kinsler, Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez drove in two runs apiece.
Billy Butler homered in the fourth for KC. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run shot in the seventh.
The hot-hitting Tigers have won three straight overall, and four straight in Kansas City, building some momentum with three games remaining before the All-Star break.
The tone of the game was set in the first inning, when four of the first five Tigers reached base. A series of singles, groundouts and sacrifice flies resulted in a 3-0 lead.
Kansas City scratched out a run in the second, only for Detroit to score three more in the fourth. Cabrera delivered the big blow with a two-out, two-run double.
The floodgates finally opened in the fifth, when Hunter began a parade of 12 batters to the plate with his 12th homer of the season. Castellanos also had two hits in the inning, and everybody in the lineup besides Austin Jackson and Don Kelly reached base before the carnage was over.
Guthrie was pulled after two batters, and recently signed Royals reliever Scott Downs gave up two more runs while retiring one batter. Louis Coleman, recalled from Triple-A Omaha, gave up four more runs to cap the worst pitching performance by the Royals this season.
Kansas City had previously allowed 12 runs in a loss to Toronto on May 31.