KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)Victor Reyes drove in three runs, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in a rain-shortened game on Saturday.
Javier Baez and Harold Castro each had two hits and two RBIs as Detroit earned its third straight win. Matt Manning (2-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball.
”I think my curveball and my changeup were really good to the lefties,” Manning said. ”My good fastball command kind of follows after that.”
The Tigers went ahead to stay with three runs in the third against Jonathan Heasley (3-8). Reyes snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI triple. Baez doubled in Reyes and then scored on Castro’s single.
”Taking the ball to the middle part of the field has been a difference maker for (Baez),” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. ”It’s a good sign.”
Reyes added a two-run single during Detroit’s four-run fifth, helping the Tigers build an 8-2 lead.
”We were aggressive,” Reyes said. ”We knew (Heasley) had a very good outing his last outing. So we took advantage of that to be aggressive.”
Heasley was charged with seven runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. The right-hander had gone 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his previous four starts.
Manning allowed two earned runs, struck out four and walked one. Since returning from the IL on Aug. 2, Manning has a 3.74 ERA over eight starts.
”He had the lead, so he could be a little bit more liberal with the strike zone and try to get through the game,” Hinch said. ”He had to keep his focus and get us as deep as he could, and he did that.”
”It makes it a lot easier,” Manning said of pitching with the lead. ”You don’t really have to hold your breath because you have confidence in your guys to put a few on the board.”
It’s the longest win streak for Detroit since a string of six straight victories in July.
Salvador Perez had two hits for Kansas City and drove in a run.
Kerry Carpenter homered for Detroit in the second, tying it at 1. The Tigers, last in the majors with 88 homers, have hit eight in the past three games.
”Hitting is contagious,” Carpenter said. ”We’ve always heard that growing up and I really believe in that. It’s really cool to see all the other guys sticking to their approaches and executing well. That gives us confidence to go up there and do the same thing. It’s been fun the past couple of days.”
Saturday’s game was moved to the afternoon to avoid anticipated inclement weather, but it was played in a steady drizzle and then stopped in the bottom of the eighth after a 58-minute delay.
”There was a couple times it was coming down pretty good,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. ”I didn’t know if they were going to pull us off the field or not, and then it got up the point where the field was really rough.”
Detroit collected three triples for its highest total in a single game since Sept. 1, 2012. It has 18 extra-base hits in its last three games.
Tigers LHP Tyler Alexander (3-9, 5.23 ERA) takes on Royals RHP Brady Singer (7-4, 3.38 ERA) on Sunday.
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