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Tigers

Tigers Stay In First Place

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers makes a play on a bunt during an MLB game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on September 27, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 27: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers makes a play on a bunt during an MLB game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on September 27, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Doug Fister set an AL record by striking out nine straight batters and the Detroit Tigers kept their lead in the Central, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday on Alex Avila’s grounder in the ninth inning.

The Tigers began the day with a one-game edge over the Chicago White Sox, who later host Tampa Bay.

Fister came within one strikeout of matching Tom Seaver’s major league record of 10 in a row. But the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead after seven innings, and Joaquin Benoit (5-3) allowed a solo homer by Billy Butler to tie it in the ninth.

The Royals made five errors, including one that loaded the bases in the ninth. Avila hit a grounder to first baseman Brayan Pena, who made a diving stop and touched the bag, but had no play at home.

Tim Collins (5-4) got the loss.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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