By NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Michael Fulmer came within one out of a shutout, and the Detroit Tigers hit three home runs in a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler and Andrew Romine went deep for the Tigers. Fulmer (7-6) appeared headed for his second big league shutout, but Ramon Torres and Jorge Bonifacio singled with two out in the ninth, then Lorenzo Cain drove them in with a double. Upton dropped Eric Hosmer’s soft liner to left field for an error, allowing another run to come in.
The crowd booed when manager Brad Ausmus pulled Fulmer after 104 pitches.
Jakob Junis (2-2) allowed a three-run homer to Upton in the first, as well as a solo shot by Kinsler in the third and a two-run drive by Romine in the fourth.
Fulmer retired the first nine Kansas City hitters, and the reigning AL Rookie of the Year faced only one batter above the minimum through eight innings. He ended up allowing seven hits, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
The first four Detroit batters reached base off Junis. Upton opened the scoring with his 15th home run of the year. Kinsler made it 4-0 with his ninth.
Romine’s drive to right was his third home run of the year, a career high. He hit two in each of the previous three seasons.
J.D. Martinez battled through a 15-pitch at-bat against reliever Kevin McCarthy in the seventh, finally hitting an RBI single to make it 7-0.
Junis allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Tigers: Alex Gordon hit a single in the sixth that bounced off Fulmer and through the left side of the infield. Detroit’s trainer came out to check on Fulmer’s right leg, but he was able to stay in the game. … Martinez appeared to foul a pitch off his right foot during his long at-bat in the seventh. He was removed for a pinch-runner after his single.
Royals: Kansas City returns home to host Minnesota on Friday night. Royals LHP Jason Vargas (11-3) tries to become the AL’s first 12-game winner when he takes on RHP Ervin Santana (10-4).
Tigers: Detroit hosts Cleveland, with RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-0) taking the mound for the Tigers against RHP Josh Tomlin (4-9).
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