With five shutout innings from the bullpen, the Detroit Tigers topped the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Wednesday night. Despite a second-inning RBI single by Andy Dirks, the Tigers fell behind 4-1 in the fourth on a home run by Jeff Francoeur. Alex Avila and Austin Jackson homered in the home half of the fourth to tie the game, and the Detroit bullpen took it from there. An eighth-inning fielders choice brought home pinch runner Don Kelly with the winning run.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello completed just four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. Joaquin Benoit got the win for a scoreless eighth inning, and closer Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save of the season. Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie did not factor in the decision despite throwing seven solid innings. Reliever Kelvin Herrera took the loss.
The win gives Detroit a momentary 1/2-game lead in the American League Central. The Chicago White Sox, who entered today tied with the Tigers, are playing Cleveland tonight.