Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Bruce Chen tossed six strong innings to outduel fellow southpaw Phil Coke, as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers, 3-1, in the middle installment of a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Chen (1-0), who led the Royals with 12 wins last season, scattered three hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Billy Butler finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored for Kansas City, which snapped a two-game slide.
"I feel like the whole team chipped in," Chen said. "The bullpen did a real good job. The defense was there, the offense was enough for us. I went out there and I did my job, too. So, I feel like we won as a team."
Coke (0-2), making his first start of the season and just the second of his career, gave up two runs on three hits and four walks. He also recorded seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
"Very impressive for his first start," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Coke.
The Royals pushed two runs home in the second inning. Butler led off with a walk and came around to score after consecutive one-out singles by Jeff Francoeur and Wilson Betemit. Brayan Pena walked to load the bases and Alcides Escobar grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Francoeur.
Two innings later, Kansas City's Robinson Tejeda needed only one pitch to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Francoeur provided insurance with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Both teams had five hits...Chen has won his last five decisions...Butler extended his hitting streak against Detroit to 21 games.