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Ian Kinsler's walk-off HR gives Detroit Tigers 11-inning win

By
Richard Shook, The Sports Xchange
Detroit Tigers' J.D. Martinez (28) leads teammates Jose Iglesias (L) and Ian Kinsler (C). Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Detroit Tigers' J.D. Martinez (28) leads teammates Jose Iglesias (L) and Ian Kinsler (C). Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT - Ian Kinsler was mobbed at the plate twice on Saturday night.

Kinsler hit the third pitch he saw leading off the 11th inning for his 11th home run of the season, giving the Detroit Tigers a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

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But two innings earlier he apparently had scored the winning run with two out in the ninth, only to have the run denied upon an umpire-initiated review.

"Guaranteed," Kinsler said of his home run. "It went over the fence. No reviewing that one."

Kinsler made a mad dash to the plate on third baseman Andrew Romine's fly ball to shallow center the first time. Home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom, who ruled Kinsler safe, also agreed to take a second look.

"I thought I beat it," Kinsler said of the off-line throw and sweep tag by catcher Salvador Perez on Jarrod Dyson's off-line throw. "When I came in from the inning, they showed me. But when you get back on the field, it's back to work as normal."

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Tigers manager Brad Ausmus needed his own look at replay.

"I was angry at the time," Ausmus said, "because what I saw on the big screen, it didn't look like he was tagged. Before we started the next inning I was able to go downstairs (and look at the replay). Perez's glove, maybe by the width of a hair, you could see it hit the toe of Kinsler's cleat."

Royals manager Ned Yost said he was unsure.

"I couldn't see it," Yost said. "But I can't see anything. I'm just glad the umpires decided to review it."

Despite the loss, Kansas City's magic number for clinching the American League Central Division title dropped to four because Minnesota lost a doubleheader to the Los Angeles Angels.

Lefty Tom Gorzelanny (2-2) picked up the victory with two scoreless relief innings for Detroit while right-hander Miguel Almonte (0-1), who also gave up a home run to Kinsler in his major-league debut Sept. 1, suffered the loss.

It was Detroit's fourth win in a row, and third straight in extra innings.

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There's some skittishness in Kansas City because the Royals are 3-6 heading into the final game of their 10-game road trip. They still hold a one-game edge on Toronto for home field advantage through the league side of the playoffs.

"You don't like it," Yost said, "But at the same time we've gone through things like this all year. We have some guys right now who have cooled off with their bats right now. You just ride it out.

"If you're going to go through quiet periods with your bats, you'd rather it be now than for it to start in two weeks.

"We're getting help (from other teams), we're just not helping ourselves."

First baseman Eric Hosmer had tied the score at 5-5 with a solo home run off right-hander Bruce Rondon with one out in the eighth. It was his 15th home run of the season and the Royals' third of the game.

Designated hitter Victor Martinez had slammed a two-run home run, his 10th, in the seventh to give Detroit a 5-4 lead. Right-hander Chris Young walked first baseman Miguel Cabrera with one out before Martinez struck.

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Tigers right-hander Al Alburquerque gift-wrapped two runs for Kansas City in the top of the seventh. He wild-pitched home a run to tie the score at 3, and gave up a two-out single to shortstop Christian Colon to make it 4-3.

Right-hander Edinson Volquez lasted six innings for Kansas City, allowing three runs on seven hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Lefty Matt Boyd allowed three hits over six innings for Detroit with one walk and six strikeouts.

Martinez hit a sacrifice fly to deepest center field with one out in the fifth off Volquez to give Detroit a 3-2 lead.

Kansas City tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a leadoff home run by third baseman Mike Moustakas, his 20th. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales had given the Royals a 1-0 lead in the second with his 18th home run, a drive into the right-field seats.

Cabrera's two-run single in the third put the Tigers on top, 2-1, in the third.

NOTES: Kansas City 2B Omar Infante is "seriously sore," manager Ned Yost said and his return to action is indeterminate. He left Friday night after five innings with a left oblique strain. ... LHP Matt Boyd, coming up on a loose innings limit, will make just two more starts for Detroit this season. ... SS Alcides Escobar, hit in the left elbow with a pitch Friday night, was not in Saturday night's starting lineup for the Royals. He is not expected to be out of action long. ... The Tigers left Saturday's game sporting a 37-27 record against division opponents.

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