Royals beat Tigers 3-1 for 7th straight victory

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

DETROIT (AP) – Whit Merrifield homered on the first pitch of the game and the Kansas City Royals led the rest of the way, beating the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

Danny Duffy (7-6) pitched into the seventh inning for the Royals, who added two runs in the fourth to keep the pressure on in the AL Central race. Kansas City came into the night 1 ½ games behind first-place Cleveland.

Merrifield homered to left-center off Michael Fulmer (10-8) to open the scoring. Fulmer struck out the next four hitters he faced, and the All-Star right-hander ended up allowing three runs and eight hits in eight sharp innings. He struck out six without a walk.

Duffy allowed a run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Three relievers finished, with Kelvin Herrera pitching a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances.