Victor Martinez Injured in Tigers Win

SportsBaseballDetroit TigersKansas City RoyalsVictor MartinezAlex AvilaJustin Verlander

Victor Martinez went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Justin Verlander recorded his 16th win of the season, as the Detroit Tigers held off the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, in the second test of a three- game series.

The news was not all good for Martinez, who left the game in the top of the eighth with a left knee sprain. Martinez was trying to score on Andy Dirks' grounder to second base. The throw home badly beat Martinez, who tried to jump around Royals catcher Brayan Pena's tag. Martinez's left knee appeared to lock up and he ended up falling to the ground. He will undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI apiece for the Tigers, who have won two in a row and five of six overall.

Verlander (16-5) gave up three runs on five hits over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked two. Verlander improved to 13-2 lifetime against Kansas City.

The race for the American League Cy Young just got closer, as Verlander and CC Sabathia of the Yankees both have 16 wins to lead the majors.

Jeff Francoeur hit a solo homer for the Royals, who have lost two in a row since a two-game winning streak. Pena knocked in a run.

Danny Duffy (3-5) allowed three runs on five hits over five frames to suffer the loss. He struck out four and walked three.

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Brennan Boesch and Ordonez worked consecutive one-out walks in the first inning. Cabrera followed with an RBI double to right. Martinez then knocked in Ordonez with a single to center.

Kansas City almost got a run back in the home first. Alex Gordon led things off with a deep fly ball to center. Austin Jackson was able to make a great catch at the wall. Verlander struck out the next two batters.

Detroit added a run in the third to make it a 3-0 game. With one out, Cabrera hit a deep fly ball to right. Francoeur seemed to make the catch at the wall, but he dropped the ball. Cabrera was credited with a double and scored on Martinez's single to right-center field.

Kansas City finally got on the board in the fifth, as Francoeur hit a solo homer to left-center field.

The Tigers added to their lead in the seventh. Alex Avila led off with an infield single. Jackson followed with a bunt back to pitcher Blake Wood, whose throw to second went into center field. Boesch grounded out to move the runners up a base. Ordonez followed with an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.

The Royals scored twice in the home seventh to make things interesting. Eric Hosmer hit a one-out single and scored on Francoeur's double to right. Pena hit a run-scoring double two batters later to make it 4-3.

Jose Valverde pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 32nd save of the season in as many opportunities. His 32 straight saves converted ties a franchise record for the longest such streak during a single season. Guillermo Hernandez converted 32 straight save opportunities for the Tigers April 6-September 23, 1984.

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