Royals beat Tigers 2-1; still eliminated from playoff contention

Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals tags out Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 26, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Jason Vargas tied for the major league lead with his 18th victory, lifting the Kansas City Royals over the struggling Detroit Tigers 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Vargas (18-10) went six innings to match Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for most wins in the majors. He gave up a run and five hits, inducing groundball double plays in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

In his first two starts against Detroit, Vargas was 0-2 while allowing 13 runs, including four home runs, in 4 2/3 innings. Vargas had Tommy John surgery in 2015 and only made three starts last year, but he’s now the first Royals pitcher to win 18 games since Kevin Appier in 1993.

The Tigers have lost eight straight and dropped to 4-21 in September. Anibal Sanchez (3-6) allowed two runs in six innings.

Mike Minor got his third save.

Detroit 1
Kansas City 2

Minnesota 8
Cleveland 6

With the Twins win, the Royals are officially eliminated from playoff contention.