Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander tied his season high with 10 strikeouts and Victor Martinez knocked in the go-ahead runs with a rare infield hit as the Detroit Tigers downed the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Friday at Comerica Park.
Verlander (9-6) reached the 10-strikeout mark for the fourth time this season while holding the Royals to two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in seven innings. Francisco Rodriguez notched his 25th save.
Ian Kinsler and Tyler Collins, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day, had solo home runs for the Tigers.
Salvador Perez supplied an RBI double for Kansas City. Starter Ian Kennedy gave up just one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Reliever Luke Hochevar (1-2) was charged with three runs in one-plus inning while taking the loss.
Eric Hosmer, the All-Star Game MVP, went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored.
Detroit erased a 2-1 deficit with a three-run seventh. Facing Hochevar, Collins lined a one-out shot just over the right-center wall to tie it. Jose Iglesias and Kinsler followed with singles before Royals manager Ned Yost brought in Joakim Soria.
Cameron Maybin walked to load the bases but Soria responded by striking out Miguel Cabrera. Martinez got down in the count, then hit a grounder that bounced off Soria's glove.
With the infield playing back, the lead-footed Martinez easily made it to first as Iglesias and Kinsler scored.
Verlander struck out the side in the first inning. He then got a little run support during the bottom of the frame.
Kinsler ripped an 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall for his third leadoff homer of the season and 35th of his career. It also extended Kennedy's streak of allowing at least one homer to eight consecutive starts.
The Royals took the lead in the top of the sixth. Verlander walked Hosmer on a 3-2 count, then gave up a single to Kendrys Morales.
Perez followed with an opposite-field drive that right fielder Steven Moya played tentatively as he approached the wall. The ball sailed over his glove, giving Perez a double as Hosmer scored. Kinsler's wild relay to third allowed Morales to score, putting Kansas City on top 2-1.
NOTES: The Royals are close to getting two key performers back from the 15-day disabled list. RHP Wade Davis (right forearm strain) threw a bullpen session during the All-Star break and could be activated as early as Saturday, according to manager Ned Yost. CF Lorenzo Cain (left hamstring strain) is "85 percent," Yost said. "He's just lacking that last little final gear, but that should come in the next couple of days." ... Detroit LF Justin Upton was placed on the bereavement list Thursday and LF Tyler Collins was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Upton is eligible to return Sunday. "He needs to take the time that's necessary for him," manager Brad Ausmus said. ... Kansas City won five of the first seven meeting this season, all at home. ... Detroit RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right neck strain) and LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique strain) will each make a rehab start before coming off the DL, Ausmus announced.