DETROIT – On Wednesday morning, Major League Baseball teams had combined to hit 5,276 home runs in 2017. You might have heard this stat, or one similar, because the gargantuan number of baseballs leaving baseball parks this year has drawn plenty of attention.

The sport is on pace to shatter the all-time record of 5,693 homers in one season, set in 2000, during the height of the so-called Steroid Era. The absurd power total has sparked widespread whispers of a "juiced" ball (MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred denies any intentional changes to the ball) and elicited other theories for the league-wide derby. But whatever the reason, whatever the factors involved, baseball has found itself in a new era of clout.

So here was context for the Royals' 13-2 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night at Comerica Park, where the Royals set a franchise home-run record for a single season while their would-be home run king limped off after aggravating his right knee.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas exited in the seventh inning after sustaining what the Royals termed "right lateral knee irritation." The issue stems from an injury suffered on Aug. 23 in his final at-bat against the Colorado Rockies. For the last two weeks, he has managed the pain. Yet it appeared to surface again in the early innings Wednesday.

Before the concern mounted, and before the Royals' offense blitzed the Tigers for 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings, catcher Salvador Perez hit a rather notable homer.

In the top of the second, Perez saw a 1-2 fastball from Tigers starter Matthew Boyd and muscled a solo shot out to left-center field. The homer represented the Royals' 169th this season, surpassing the record of 168, set in 1987. Perez would add No. 170 during a seven-run eighth, finishing the night with a career-high 24 homers. The team total ranks 10th in the American League.

The Royals were in position to shatter the team mark, in part, because Moustakas has spent the summer launching baseballs out to right field, entering Wednesday just one homer shy of Steve Balboni's franchise record of 36. Yet he spent the evening grimacing and favoring a balky right knee before exiting in the seventh inning.

He aggravated his right knee while scoring from first base on an Alcides Escobar triple in the second inning. He appeared to battle pain and discomfort for the rest of the night. In the bottom of the sixth, he couldn't track down a foul pop in shallow left field, coming up short while gritting his teeth. In the seventh, he hit into an inning-ending double play, failing to prolong a game-breaking rally that featured four doubles and four runs.

The sight of Moustakas moving around the diamond with a noticeable hitch in his step offered genuine concern. Yet the Royals (69-69) moved forward, securing a second series victory in a six-game road trip.

On the eve of a critical four-game series against the Minnesota Twins, starter Jason Hammel yielded just two runs in six innings. Whit Merrifield set a career high with three doubles. Escobar pounded out four (another career high) of the offense's 18 hits against an overwhelmed Tigers staff.

By late Wednesday, the Royals packed their belongings inside the visitors clubhouse at Comerica Park and concluded their penultimate road trip of the season. In six days in Minnesota and Cleveland, they had won four times, shaking off a 17-0 loss to the Twins and a 13-2 defeat here on Tuesday. For once, they were on the other side of a rout, notching their largest victory since drilling Detroit 16-2 on July 26.

As their flight took off in Detroit, they were 2 { games behind the Twins in the crowded race for the second American League wild-card spot. On Thursday, they will play the first of four straight games against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

Any late playoff push will start over the next four days, which begged the obvious question: How healthy is Mike Moustakas?