U.L. Washington drove in three runs with a single and a homer as Kansas City gained a split in Detroit.
In the first game, Alan Trammell's three-run double in the second inning led the Tigers to victory.
In the nightcap, the Royals trailed, 2-0, then scored four runs in the third inning. A single by Leon Roberts, a double by Don Slaught and a walk to Willie Wilson loaded the bases with none out.
Washington singled Roberts and Slaught home and Hal McRae's two-out double scored Wilson and Washington to give the Royals a 4-2 lead.
Vida Blue of the A's needed three outs in the fifth inning to get his first victory this season; he couldn't get anybody out, so Mike Armstrong (5-5) pitched two shutout innings of relief.
Dan Quisenberry worked the final three innings to pick up his league-leading 26th save.
George Brett went four for four in the opener, his first hits since getting his pine-tar bat back Saturday.
Detroit starter Dave Rozema (8-1) worked the first five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. Aurelio Lopez then got his 16th save.