Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Will Rhymes' two-run homer in the sixth served as the go-ahead runs, and Alex Avila blasted a solo shot in the eighth for insurance, as Detroit got by Kansas City, 7-5, in the opener of a three-game set.
Rhymes had to wait for his first career homer as the umpiring crew reviewed whether it cleared the wall in right field above the yellow line. Avila paced the offense with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the White Sox.
Brad Thomas (6-2) threw 1 2/3 innings of relief to get the win and Phil Coke picked up his second save. Rick Porcello was tagged for 12 hits and five runs in a 5 1/3-inning start.
Reigning AL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke (9-13) was denied a chance at double- digit wins, charged with six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in six innings.
Yuniesky Betancourt went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer for the Royals, who have lost three of four and five of eight overall.