Despite an AL-record nine consecutive strikeouts from Doug Fister, the Detroit Tigers needed to score in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 and sweep the series. The win puts the Tigers 1½ games up on the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, who host the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.
The Tigers got out to an early lead 4-0 lead after two-run first and second innings. Fister maintained the lead by striking out nine straight runners from the fourth through seventh inning. The record nine consecutive strikeouts were just a portion of the 16 straight batters retired by Fister ranging from the end of the second inning through the seventh inning.
In the eighth inning, however, Fister ran into some trouble. Consecutive doubles to open the inning from Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur began a three-run inning for the Royals. The Tigers carried that 4-3 lead into the ninth inning when Billy Butler homered off Joaquin Benoit and tied the game at fours to open the inning. Detroit was able to score in the bottom of the ninth when a bases-loaded Alex Avila grounder scored Don Kelly to give the Tigers the 5-4 victory. Benoit was credited with the win to move to 5-3; Tim Collins (5-4) picked up the loss.