KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If there was any momentum to be built after Thursday’s barrage of 10 runs on 13 hits, it did not seem the Royals would take advantage of it Friday.
They had tallied three hits through seven innings against the Tigers. They stranded only one man on base _ but it was because Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez and Lucas Duda each grounded into inning-ending double plays against Detroit starting pitcher Francisco Liriano.
But when reliever Joe Jimenez entered the Royals’ half of the eighth inning with one out and the bases loaded, the Royals rallied for a 4-2 win at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler, who has reached base in 19 straight games and is the owner of a career-best 10-game hitting streak, scorched a go-ahead, two-run single up the third-base side and under the glove of the Tigers’ James McCann. Moments later, Soler augmented the joy of Royals fans in attendance by making a sliding grab in foul territory for the second out of the ninth inning.
Soler has provided similar firepower on multiple occasions this week, including an extra-innings, go-ahead home run against the Red Sox in Boston on Tuesday and a tie-breaking solo blast in Thursday’s win.
In the moments after Perez dumped a bucket of ice water down his back, Soler took more joy in his defensive performance than anything else.
“I was playing in. When I saw the line drive heading to the wall, I was like, ‘Let’s slide,’ “ Soler said. “It’s a play we’ve been practicing. We were working on that early today.”
The Royals improved to 10-22. Blaine Boyer _ who allowed two runs on a two-out double to the Tigers’ JaCoby Jones in the eighth _ won his first game in a Royals uniform. Kelvin Herrera notched his sixth save.