Royals rookie third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert singled in the winning run with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 13th inning off Tigers left-hander Kyle Ryan to lead the Royals to a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Ryan had just been recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day.
Salvador Perez, who now has an 11-game hitting streak, led off the inning with a single to right. Lorenzo Cain pinch-ran for Perez and went to second on an error by first basemanMiguel Cabrera, who missed a pickoff throw. Then an intentional walk, a sacrifice bunt and another intentional walk set up Cuthbert, who delivered his first career walk-off hit.
"I just tried to relax and look for a good pitch," Cuthbert said. "When it got to 2-0, I thought I'd get a good pitch, and he gave it to me."
The Royals remain a half-game behind the first-place Indians in the American League Central. Detroit fell to 4 1/2 games back.
"The entire pitching staff was an A-plus for me today," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann threw eight strong innings for the Tigers, giving up four hits and one run. He walked none and struck out five.
"He was very good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He was throwing strikes. He got them chasing pitches out of the zone. His pitch count was down. He was very sharp. He did an excellent job and deserved to get a 'W,' really."
Royals right-hander Chris Young went six innings -- his longest outing since going six on April 22. He gave up three hits and one run, walked one and struck out seven. Young always has pitched well against the Tigers -- he now has a 1.68 career ERA against them.
This was Young's first Father's Day since his father passed away last September.
"I thought about him a lot today," Young said. "He's been a huge influence in my life. First Father's Day without him, it's been a little emotional, but I'm certainly glad I could go out and honor him and play a game we both love."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big Ken keeps rolling: Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales continues to show signs that he's out of his season-long slump, as he extended his hitting streak to eight games when he singled with one out in the fifth. Morales went to third on Paulo Orlando's double off the left-field wall and then scored on Brett Eibner's groundout.
The Royals concluded the homestand 6-1.
"I don't think any different of my team than I did when we lost eight in a row," Yost said. "We've got a good team. Our pitching has been very good during our latest streak. ... We play great defense, we're swinging the bats well, and I'm happy where we are at."
Moya's first mash: While most of the Tigers' lineup continues to be confounded by Young,Steven Moya -- who had never faced Young -- found success against one of the few players in baseball taller than him. The 6-foot-7 Moya sent a line drive from the 6-foot-10 Young over the right-field bullpen and into the outfield seats for his first Major League home run leading off the third inning. Add in a fifth-inning single, and Moya accounted for the lone run and two of the three hits off Young. More >
Escobar misjudges fly ball: The Royals appeared to have something going against Zimmermann early when shortstop Alcides Escobar ripped a one-out double off the left-field wall in the first inning. But then Eric Hosmer blooped a fly ball to short right, and Escobar seemed to lose track of it. He took off for third, and the ball was easily caught and converted into a double play.
Cabrera with the glove: Miguel Cabrera made a pair of clutch plays in the field with the potential winning run on base. His sliding charge from first base got his glove under Whit Merrifield's popup bunt attempt with Jarrod Dyson on in the ninth. An inning later, Cabrera made a sharp grab of a Morales grounder down the line and got the force at second. However, his miss on Ryan's pickoff attempt moved the eventual winning run into scoring position.
"Miggy's usually steady-handed at first base," Ausmus said. "I don't know if he possibly lost the ball coming out of the crowd or the shadows."
QUOTABLE "Blah. I don't really have a lot to say about it. I guess we'll just go home." -- Ausmus, summing up the Tigers' 4-6 road trip
MAYBIN EJECTED Cameron Maybin was ejected in the 11th inning by plate umpire Gabe Morales for arguing balls and strikes. Maybin struck out against Peter Moylan, said something on his way to the dugout, Morales turned and responded, and the ensuing exchange earned Maybin his first career ejection.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: Detroit returns home for a nine-game homestand beginning Monday night with a 7:10 ET game against Seattle to open a four-game series. Mike Pelfrey gets the call to start the opener.
Royals: The Royals have Monday off, then travel to New York for a two-game set with the Mets in a rematch of the World Series. Right-hander Ian Kennedy takes the mound on Tuesday night at 6:10 CT. Kennedy got the win in his previous outing, over the Indians, giving up four runs in 6 2/3 innings.