DETROIT (AP) - The Kansas City Royals have the record of a last-place team, and a pitching staff to match.
The Detroit Tigers found out again Monday night that the Royals don't have a last-place offense.
The Royals got 18 hits in their second August win over Max Scherzer, beating the first-place Tigers 9-5 on Monday night.
Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon all homered while Johnny Giavotella added a bases-loaded double for the Royals, who came in 18 1/2 games behind Central Division leaders.
``I don't know what it is about Scherzer,' Giavotella said. ``We've put good swings on the ball against a lot of pitchers and not gotten anything to show for it, but we've been better against him.'
Scherzer (13-8) allowed seven runs, 10 hits and a walk in three-plus innings to drop to 2-2 in August.
``We were swinging the bat really well against him, and they weren't bad pitches,' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ``Detroit has a great lineup, so you really want to put up as many runs as you can as quickly as you can.'
Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn't surprised.
``People need to realize that isn't the team that fell way out of the race,' he said of the Royals. ``They've brought up some young, aggressive hitters that are pretty impressive.'
Luke Hochevar (9-10) wasn't brilliant, but used the offensive support to end a four-start winless streak. He gave up five runs and eight hits in seven innings.
``My job is to go out and execute pitches, whether we're leading by 10 runs or down by 10 runs,' he said. ``We really swung the bats well.'
Gordon led off the game with his 19th homer, and Perez's RBI double made it 2-0 in the second.
``I remembered that he likes to start fastball, fastball, fastball, so I was expecting the last one,' Gordon said. ``We knew we needed to score runs against them.'
The Royals then broke the game open with three runs in the third. Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler started the inning with singles, and Eric Hosmer walked to load the bases. Scherzer retired the next two batters, but Giavotella hit a line drive into the right-center gap, scoring all three runners.
The Tigers made it 5-3 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Ramon Santiago and run-scoring singles by Delmon Young and Victor Martinez, but Scherzer couldn't keep the Tigers in the game.
Perez led off the fourth with his first career homer - a 415-foot drive to left-center that bounced off the brick wall behind the seats - and Escobar followed with a shot into the left-field stands.
``I crushed that ball,' said Perez, who got a postgame beer shower from his teammates. ``I felt so happy - it was unbelievable.'
Gordon singled, ending Scherzer's night, but Duane Below got out of the inning.
``There are times when your pitcher gives us a couple hits and you can get him out of there, but when they hit two quick homers like that, there's not much you can do,' Leyland said. ``We were back in the game after the three-spot in the third, but that took a lot of sting out of us.'
Miguel Cabrera's RBI double pulled the Tigers within 7-4, but the Royals got RBIs from Cabrera and Hosmer to put the game away in the sixth.
Detroit threatened in the eighth, adding a fifth run, but Blake Wood came in to get a double play and a strikeout to escape further damage. Wood finished for his first career save.
``They've got a potent lineup, which is why it was big for Woody to come in and get that double play,' Yost said.
NOTES: The Tigers announced before the game that OF Brennan Boesch will need surgery to fix a sprained thumb, but that he will try to find a way to play with the injury. Boesch has only played once since Aug. 22 because of the injury. ... RHP Al Alburquerque (concussion) has been cleared to resume baseball activities, and will be available after getting his arm ready. Alburquerque has been sidelined since he was hit with a ball during batting practice in Baltimore on Aug. 13.
The Associated Press News Service
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