DETROIT -- Michael Fulmer did not allow a run until there were two outs in the ninth and the Detroit offense backed him with three homers as the Tigers thumped the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
The second-year right-hander gave up seven hits and struck out seven. Fulmer (7-6) erased three of the baserunners on double plays.
He just missed recording the second shutout of his career. He blanked Texas last August 14 during his rookie season. Justin Wilson got the last out after four consecutive Royals reached base in the ninth.
Justin Upton hit a three-run homer in the first inning. Andrew Romine supplied a two-run shot, and Ian Kinsler added a solo homer for the Tigers (35-43), who have won three of their last four games. Kinsler reached base three times and scored three times.
Drew Butera's two-run double in the ninth broke up Fulmer's shutout bid. Kansas City's other run scored on an Upton error.
Jake Junis (2-2) gave up six runs on seven hits in six innings as the Royals (38-39) lost their first series since Detroit took two of three from them in Kansas City last month.
Upton gave his club a quick jolt. He followed a single by Kinsler and walk to Alex Avila by smoking a 2-0 pitch into the left-center field stands. That gave him a team-high 15 homers on the season.
Kinsler led off the third with his ninth homer. Romine made it 6-0 when he followed a one-out single by Mikie Mahtook with a blast into the right field stands.
Fulmer was struck in the right leg by Alex Gordon's line-drive single in the sixth but shook it off and struck out the next batter, Ramon Torres.
J.D. Martinez completed a 15-pitch at-bat in the seventh with a run-scoring single off Kevin McCarthy. Martinez, who fouled a ball off his foot earlier in the at-bat, was then removed for a pinch-runner.
NOTES: Detroit LHP Matt Boyd will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to start one of the two games in Saturday's doubleheader against Cleveland. Boyd, who made 11 starts with the Tigers earlier this season, is 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts with the Mud Hens. ... Royals OF/DH Jorge Soler, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday, will receive regular playing time. "He's coming off a good stint down there and looked good (Wednesday) night," manager Ned Yost said. "Just want to try to get him some consistent at-bats up here and hopefully get him in a good groove." ... Kansas City LHP Jason Vargas will try to stretch his personal winning streak to seven consecutive starts against Minnesota on Friday. It's the longest streak of consecutive winning starts by a Royals pitcher since Zack Greinke in 2008-09. ... The Tigers are 1-20 in games they didn't hit a homer.