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Kansas City Royals knock around Detroit Tigers’ pitching in 14-6 victory

By AP | Jul 28, 2020

The Tigers’ JaCoby Jones, center, is greeted at home plate by teammates Cameron Maybin, second from left, and Victor Reyes after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against The Kansas City Royals on Monday in Detroit. (AP photo)

By NOAH TRISTER

AP Baseball Writer

DETROIT — Maikel Franco hit two of Kansas City’s six home runs, and the Royals pounded the Tigers 14-6 on Monday night, spoiling Detroit’s fan-free home opener.

Whit Merrifield had three hits and three RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle on a night when the Royals rallied from an early 5-1 deficit. Foster Griffin (1-0) won in relief, but he also had to leave his major league debut with a left forearm strain.

Detroit’s Michael Fulmer allowed three homers in his first start back from Tommy John surgery. The Tigers didn’t plan on a long outing from the right-hander, and he allowed four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings after missing the whole 2019 season.

Salvador Perez, Jorge Soler and Brett Phillips also homered for Kansas City. JaCoby Jones and Victor Reyes went deep for Detroit.

Kansas City took the lead for good with a six-run fourth. Kyle Funkhouser (0-1), making his big league debut in relief of Fulmer, allowed a two-run single by Ryan O’Hearn that made it 7-5.

Beau Burrows then came on to make his debut, and Franco greeted him with a three-run homer to left. Reyes, the left fielder, fell down when he reached the fence as the ball sailed over.

Franco also homered to open the scoring in the second, but the Tigers answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning, including Jones’ three-run shot. Merrifield and Perez homered in Kansas City’s three-run third.

Royals starter Mike Montgomery allowed three earned runs and five hits in two innings.