KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Torii Hunter insisted the first-place Tigers weren’t trying to send a message to the second-place Royals as the AL Central rivals began a four-game series leading into the All-Star break.
They did it anyway.
Everybody who stepped to the plate for Detroit had at least one hit and scored one run, and a season-best offensive onslaught spurred the Tigers to a 16-4 rout of Kansas City on Thursday night.
“It’s not a big series. It’s just another series. It was no statement,” said Hunter, who led off the fifth with a homer, added another hit later in the inning and finished with three RBIs.
“It’s a good win because it’s in the division, but we weren’t trying to send a statement.”
Nevertheless, the Tigers extended their lead to 5½ games over the Royals by capturing their third straight victory and fourth in a row in Kansas City — winning those four games by a 42-12 margin.
Drew Smyly (5-8) was the beneficiary, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk in 6⅔ innings for Detroit. He had lost six of his previous eight outings.
Jeremy Guthrie (5-8) gave up a career-worst eight earned runs on eight hits, three walks and two hit batters. He was mercifully pulled with no outs in the fifth.
The Tigers stunned the Royals with three runs in the first, added three in the fourth and put up a season-best eight in the fifth. They ended up with 19 hits for the game.
Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez joined Hunter in driving in three runs apiece, while Ian Kinsler, Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez each drove in two.
Red Sox 4, White Sox 3 (10)
In Boston, Mike Carp’s pinch-hit single in the 10th inning gave the Red Sox their second straight walk-off victory over Chicago.
Jon Lester struck out 12 in seven innings for Boston, but fellow All-Star Koji Uehara gave up a tying, two-run homer in the ninth to pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie — his third long ball in three games and fourth of the season. Uehara blew his second save of the season.
Angels 15, Rangers 6
In Arlington, Texas, All-Star center fielder Mike Trout had a three-run homer among his four hits for fast-starting Los Angeles in its drubbing of freefalling Texas.
Twins 4, Mariners 2
In Seattle, Kendrys Morales hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to help Minnesota rookie right-hander Yohan Pino earn his first major league victory.
Indians 9, Yankees 3
In Cleveland, Roberto Perez hit a two-run homer in his major league debut, Carlos Santana also connected and the Indians scored nine runs in its last two innings at bat to rally past New York.
Yankees pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki lined a single to left to lead off the eighth inning for his 2,800th career hit in the majors.
Dodgers 2, Padres 1
In Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw’s scoreless streak ended at 41 innings when he gave up a home run to Chase Headley, but the Los Angeles ace pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead the Dodgers over San Diego.
Kershaw won his eighth straight start and came within 18 innings of the major league record set by Dodgers right-hander Orel Hershiser, who threw 59 consecutive shutout innings in 1988.
Headley homered off Kershaw in the sixth, halting the longest scoreless streak in the majors since Brandon Webb went 42 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.
Cubs 6, Reds 4 (12)
In Cincinnati, Luis Valbuena hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the 12th and Chicago avoided a rare five-game sweep.
Phillies 9, Brewers 1
In Milwaukee, Jimmy Rollins broke up Matt Garza’s no-hit bid with a single in the seventh before sparking a seven-run outburst an inning later, helping Philadelphia complete a four-game sweep.
Braves 3, Mets 1
In New York, Aaron Harang allowed four hits in seven innings, and Atlanta used early offense against Bartolo Colon to avert a four-game sweep by the Mets.
Pirates 9, Cardinals 1
In St. Louis, hurler Edinson Volquez tossed a six-hitter to win his fourth straight start.
Athletics 6, Giants 1
In San Francisco, All-Star Scott Kazmir struck out nine in seven scoreless innings to help Oakland win the annual Bay Bridge series.
Orioles 4, Nationals 3
In Baltimore, Steve Pearce homered and scored twice to help Chen Wei-Yin earn his team-high ninth victory, and Baltimore defeated Washington for its eighth victory in 10 games.