KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Tigers heard Kansas City was making a late pitching change about an hour before the first pitch, and what could have caused a bit of anxiety for a bunch of hitters turned out to be a just fine.
Jeimer Candelario hit a bases-clearing double and Gordon Beckham added a two-run homer during a seven-run third inning, and Detroit pounded Brian Flynn and the Royals 12-8 on Sunday.
Harold Castro had a pair of hits during the marathon fame, when the Tigers trotted 11 batters to the plate against Flynn, the fill-in starter. The first six reached base safely, and Brandon Dixon and Niko Goodrum also drove in runs before reliever Jorge Lopez finally ended the inning.
“Our mindset is it’s the same,” said Castro, who had his first career four-hit game. “We’re ready for every pitching. You have to be ready for everything.”
Flynn (2-1), who got the start when Homer Bailey was traded to Oakland before the first pitch, was yanked six batters into the third without recording an out. He allowed seven runs on eight hits.
Jordan Zimmermann wasn’t much better for Detroit. He allowed seven runs on eight hits before he was pulled after facing four batters in the fifth inning. He still hasn’t won since last Sept. 5.
Nick Ramirez (4-3) earned the win for Detroit after allowing one run over three innings.
“These guys come out and put up runs like that, you have to get outs,” said Zimmermann, who blamed the spin on his go-to slider for most of the damage. “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get outs. It’s embarrassing.”
The Tigers jumped ahead on Christian Stewart’s RBI single in the first, but it was their big third inning that cracked the game open. Castro and Stewart joined Nick Castellanos on base before Dixon was hit by a pitch to plate a run. Candelario followed with his three-run double.
Goodrum also drove in a run before Beckham’s two-out homer gave the Tigers an 8-3 lead.
The seven-run frame was the Tigers’ highest-scoring inning of the season by a full two runs, and the six hits matched a season-high for an inning set July 4 against the White Sox.
The teams swapped runs in the fourth, and Kansas City plated three in the fifth and another in the sixth to claw within 10-8. But the Royals left a pair aboard to end the inning, and the Tigers answered with two more in the seventh to cap their highest-scoring game this season.
Jorge Soler homered and had three RBIs for the Royals, and the teams combined for 29 hits while stranding 12 runners on base in an offensive slugfest on a hot, sunny day.
“We didn’t pitch real well today,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “There are days when the offense has to cover the pitchers and the pitching has to cover the offense, and we didn’t cover it today.”
Bailey, who was 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA, was traded to the A’s for minor league infielder Kevin Merrell, who has been playing this season at Double-A Midland. The 23-year-old former South Florida standout, known for his speed and defense, will report to the Royals’ affiliate at Northwest Arkansas.
“We liked him a great deal out of the draft. He’s the type of player we like,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Oakland selected him rather high and we never got a chance to select him.”
Detroit reinstated Victor Alcantara from the injured list after the right-hander had a wisdom tooth extracted. Right-hander Eduardo Jimenez had been sent to Triple-A Toledo after Saturday night’s game.
Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris (2-8, 4.96 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a four-game set in Cleveland. The Royals remain home to open a four-game series against the White Sox with right-hander Jakob Junis (4-8, 5.33) trying to build on a solid start to end the first half.
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