Victor Martinez blast three HRs in Detroit Tigers' victory

By Alan Eskew, The Sports Xchange
Detroit Tigers' Victor Martinez. UPI/Rebecca Cook
Detroit Tigers' Victor Martinez. UPI/Rebecca Cook | License Photo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Victor Martinez hit three home runs and Miguel Cabrera had a two-run go-ahead shot in the seventh inning as the Detroit Tigers belted a season-high six homers to top the Kansas City Royals 10-4 on Thursday night.

It could be a costly victory for the Tigers, who lost right fielder J.D. Martinez with a fractured right elbow in the second inning.


It was Victor Martinez's second career three-homer game. His first was July, 16, 2004 at Seattle while with Cleveland. Martinez's first two homers were off left-hander Danny Duffy and in the ninth went deep off Chien-Ming Wang.

Justin Verlander (8-6) worked seven innings to pick up the victory and is 5-2 in his last seven starts. He allowed four runs on eight hits, while striking out seven, walking one and hitting two batters.


The loss snapped the Royals' five-game winning streak and their nine-game home streak.

Cabrera homered with Julio Iglesias aboard off Luke Hochevar (1-1) with two out in the seventh. Cabrera has 13 home runs and 61 RBIs in 76 games at Kauffman Stadium. Iglesias' single before Cabrera's blast into the right-field bullpen extended his hitting streak to a season-high 14 games

James McCann led off the three-run seventh with a home run off Hochevar to knot the score at 4.

The Tigers tacked on three runs in the eighth off Peter Moylan. Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton stroked run-producing singles, while McCann contributed a sacrifice fly.

The Royals took advantage of a makeshift Tigers' outfield to score two runs in the first off Verlander. Whit Merrifield led off the inning with a ground ball single to left. Alcides Escobar hit a catchable fly ball to deep center, but Justin Upton, who was making a rare start in center with Cameron Maybin out with a leg injury, appeared to lose it in the sun. It plopped to the ground for a double with Merrifield stopping at third.


Merrifield scored on an Eric Hosmer ground out. Merrifield has scored a run in 10 consecutive home games. Lorenzo Cain flared a double to shallow right, bringing home Escobar.

The Tigers promptly got a run back on Danny Duffy's first pitch in the second inning, which Victor Martinez drilled into the left-field seats. Martinez was making his first start since Sunday because of a balky right knee.

Paulo Orlando led off the bottom of the second with a triple and J.D. Martinez was injured on the play. Martinez braced himself with his right hand as he ran into the wall at the right-field foul pole.

The realigned Tigers outfield had Mike Aviles moving from left to right, Upton moving to center and Andrew Romine coming in to play center.

Brett Eibner, who was reinstated from the disabled list earlier in the day and a late clubhouse arrival after flying in from Oklahoma City, punched a RBI single in his first at-bat back, scoring Orlando.

Duffy could not hold the 3-1 lead in the fourth, giving up another leadoff home run to Victor Martinez and a solo shot to Nick Castellanos.


Eibner put the Royals in front in the fifth, which he led off with his first big league home run. That gave Eibner eight hits in his first 15 at-bats in the majors.

Duffy, who was making his seventh start, was removed after five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, three of them homers, while throwing 88 pitches. He was replaced by Joakim Soria.

NOTES: DH Victor Martinez, who had not started since Sunday and received a cortisone shot in his right knee, returned to the Tigers lineup. ... Tigers CF Cameron Maybin is receiving treatment for a tender left quadriceps, which he hurt Monday in Chicago and was not in the lineup for the second time in three games. Justin Upton shifted from left, making his sixth start in center. ... Royals OF Brett Eibner, who sprained his ankle May 31, was reinstated from the disabled list and started in left. The Royals optioned OF Reymond Fuentes to Triple-A Omaha. ... LF Mike Aviles, who had back-to-back two-hit games against the White Sox, was in the Detroit lineup for the fifth straight game. ... Royals LF Alex Gordon took another round of on-the-field batting practice and could be leaving this weekend on a minor league rehab assignment. He went on the disabled May 23 with a broken right wrist. ... Royals Hall of Fame manager Dick Howser died on this date 29 years ago from a brain tumor after guiding the team to their first World Series championship in 1985. ... Tigers rookie RHP Michael Fulmer and Royals RHP Yordano Ventura are the pitching probables Friday. Fulmer is 5-0 with a 0.26 ERA in his past five starts.


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