DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers were primed for yet another come-from-behind victory.
Detroit, which has trailed in five of its six victories, had narrowed the Kansas City Royals' lead to a run in the fifth inning and had the bases loaded, no outs and cleanup man Miguel Cabrera at the plate.
But Cabrera grounded into a routine double play, and although the tying run scored on the play, the Royals took advantage of the reprieve to pull away for a 7-3 victory.
Jose Guillen homered for the fourth straight game, connecting for his 200th career shot and leading the Royals.
Yet it was Kansas City's escape in the middle of the game that Detroit lamented.
"That was the key moment of the game right there," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We loaded them up with the right guy at the plate, but it didn't happen. That's OK -- there's no way that we can keep making that happen every time. We've got to pitch better."
Kansas City had blown a 5-0 lead in Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Tigers, so Royals manager Trey Hillman was happy to see his team hang on when it looked as if another game might slip away.
"That was a very resilient performance," Hillman said. "Call it resilient, call it scrappy, call it whatever word you want -- I'll take it."
The Tigers lost two of three to the Royals, allowing 22 runs on 45 hits in the series.
"If we are going to win consistently, we've got to get better pitching," Leyland said. "Give the Royals credit, but this just isn't good enough. We gave up 17 hits again today, and that's getting to be a pattern."
Guillen's fifth home run in a four-game span capped a two-run seventh inning that put the Royals ahead 5-3.
Billy Butler added a pair of sacrifice flies for the Royals.
"That's a nice achievement, but it mainly shows how much I've been blessed with good health for a lot of years," Damon said.
"This was big for us," Davies said. "We had a chance to get three wins here, but after the tough loss yesterday, it was big to come back and get this one."
It was tied at 3 when David DeJesus started the Kansas City seventh with a walk off Ryan Perry (0-1). After a sacrifice and a wild pitch, DeJesus scored on Butler's sacrifice fly when catcher Gerald Laird couldn't handle Ordonez's throw from right field.
Guillen homered for a 5-3 lead but downplayed his personal achievement.
"It's 200 and that makes me happy, but I have to move on now," he said.
Guillen's hitting hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates, though.
"The streak he is on is unbelievable," Butler said. "Guys are trying to do different things against him, and he's still getting the same result. He's sticking with his plan and hitting the ball hard."
Damon's two-out single in the bottom of the seventh brought John Parrish from the bullpen. Parrish had retired all 10 batters he had faced this year but walked Ordonez before getting Cabrera to ground out.
Butler made it 6-3 with another sacrifice fly in the eighth. The Royals added an insurance run in the ninth on second baseman Scott Sizemore's error.
Ordonez hit his third home run in the first inning. The Royals came back against Rick Porcello on DeJesus' two-run double in the second and added a run in the third when Jason Kendall singled home Guillen.
Porcello allowed three runs on 10 hits in six innings.
"Early in the game, I think he was giving the Royals too much credit, so he wasn't attacking the zone with strike one," Leyland said. "He settled down and only gave up three runs, but he was at 25 or 30 pitches in the first inning, and that's not good."
Detroit tied it in the fifth on Damon's RBI double and Cabrera's double play but only managed one more hit.
Detroit went 4-2 on its first homestand of the season and now faces an 11-game, three-city road trip to Seattle, Los Angeles and Texas. Damon said, for most teams, the trip would provide a bonding experience, but he doesn't think the Tigers need that. "When I was in Boston and New York, it was tough to get the guys together at home, so you hung out on the road," he said. "It is different here, though. Everyone seems to live in the same area, so we're always seeing each other away from the park." ... Chris Getz was thrown out stealing in the ninth inning, the first time a Royals baserunner had been caught in 13 attempts this year. ... Parrish walked two hitters but still has not allowed a hit in his six outings this season.