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Royals hold on for latest win over Detroit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Michael Tucker had four hits and three
RBI as the Kansas City Royals held off Detroit 9-8 Friday night,
improving to 7-0 against the Tigers this season.

Ken Harvey also drove in three runs for the Royals, who remain
first in the AL Central and have their best record (46-38) through
84 games since the 1989 club was 47-37.

Rookie Nate Field (1-0) got his first major league win with 1
1-3 innings of one-hit relief. Detroit's Craig Monroe hit a two-run
homer and Eric Munson a solo shot off Sean Lowe in the ninth to cut
it to 9-8, but Mike MacDougal retired pinch-hitter Kevin Witt on
one pitch for his 23rd save in 28 chances.

Dmitri Young and Shane Halter homered off Royals starter Chris
George before Kansas City took the lead with a four-run fourth
inning that illustrated why the Tigers (20-64) have the worst
record in the major leagues.

First the Royals loaded the bases against Nate Cornejo (3-7) on
three straight singles -- the third, by Carlos Febles, bounced off
the pitcher's backside and rolled back toward the plate, forcing
Angel Berroa to stay at third.

Tucker brought in a run with his third single in three at-bats,
making it 5-4. Reliever Chris Spurling came in and induced a
potential double-play grounder from Desi Relaford. But when first
baseman Halter turned to throw to second, the ball slipped out of
his hand and popped into the air for an error as Mike DiFelice
scored to make it 5-5.

Carlos Beltran put the Royals on top 6-5 with an RBI grounder,
and Raul Ibanez's sacrifice fly made it 7-5. Catcher A.J. Finch
also had a throwing error in the inning, and the Tigers made three
errors in all.

Cornejo went three-plus innings and was charged with seven runs
on nine hits. The right-hander, who came in with 1.66 strikeouts
per nine innings, the lowest among AL starters, did not have a
strikeout.

The Tigers got three runs in the first on Monroe's two-run
double and Halter's RBI single. The Royals got two in the bottom
half with Harvey's two-run single.

After Tucker's RBI single tied it 3-all in the second, Young hit
a 437-foot solo shot in the fourth that carried over the water
display in left field. Halter led off the fourth with his sixth
homer.

The Royals added two in the sixth on Tucker's RBI triple and
Harvey's RBI single.

In nine games on the current homestand, Tucker is 13-for-27 with
three doubles, two triples, two home runs and 10 RBI.

Game notes
Detroit rookie Cody Ross reached base the first two times
as a major leaguer the hard way, on an error and when he was hit by
a pitch from Field. ... Kansas City 3B Joe Randa sat out his third
straight game with a strained muscle on his right side. The Royals
do not plan to put him on the DL. ... The Tigers put OF Bobby
Higginson on the 15-day DL with a pulled left hamstring and
recalled Ross from Triple-A Toledo. ... Ibanez brought a roar from
the crowd with a leaping one-handed catch near the warning track of
Warren Morris' drive in the third. ... Counting their last meeting
in 2002, the Royals have beaten the Tigers eight straight. ...
Kansas City's Carlos Beltran has stolen 21 bases in a row without
getting caught. ... Young was ejected for arguing a called third
strike in the ninth.