KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Royals skipped their normal batting practice before Thursday night's game against the Detroit Tigers, a prudent move considering how hot they have been at the plate lately.
They wound up getting plenty of swings in during the game anyway.
Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer, Paulo Orlando added a two-run shot and Kendrys Morales drove in four as Kansas City routed Detroit 15-7 to wrap up another series win.
Ben Zobrist drove in two runs for the Royals, whose 15 runs and 20 hits were their most since piling up 21 hits in a 16-8 victory at Colorado on July 3, 2011.
"It was definitely a long game," Cain said, "but we'll take that kind of win."
Chris Young (10-6) got the victory with two scoreless innings in relief of Edinson Volquez, who yielded six runs, eight hits and a walk in three innings — but still put on a smile.
"It's just part of the game," he said. "Just a bad day."
Not as bad as Matt Boyd's day. The Tigers starter was hammered for six runs before getting the hook four batters into the second inning. The last batter he faced was Cain, whose skyscraping homer barely cleared the wall in left field on its descent for his second in as many nights.
"I just couldn't throw stuff where I wanted to," Boyd said.
Reliever Kyle Ryan (1-3) was tagged with the loss as Detroit pitchers allowed 61 runs during a 1-5 trip through Toronto and Kansas City, two teams in the thick of the playoff hunt.
"You better learn from it," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "You better try to get better 'cause if it gets any worse, I don't know what we'll do. This was a very tough road trip for the pitching staff. We do have some young guys, but we've got to work to get them better."
Nick Castellanos drove in three runs for the Tigers while James McCann drove in two.
After dropping the series opener, the Royals managed 34 hits and 27 runs in taking the next two games. That allowed the AL Central leaders to extend their unbeaten streak to eight series.
Perhaps coincidentally, their offense came alive in the two games that Jonny Gomes started after his arrival in a trade from Atlanta. Gomes had an RBI double on Wednesday night and two hits on Thursday night, including another run-scoring double.
All told, the teams combined for 34 hits while leaving 18 on base in a game that lasted 3 hours, 58 minutes. The first inning alone included 76 pitches — 38 each side — along with seven hits, five runs and two visits from pitching coaches during a 46-minute marathon.
Detroit scored three times in the first, including Anthony Gose's leadoff homer, only for Kansas City to answer with two runs in the bottom half. The Royals scored four in the second, and the Tigers knotted the game 6-all by stringing together a series of hits in the third.
Both starting pitchers had been discarded by that point, and it came down to which team had the better bullpen. The Tigers kept faltering while Kansas City buckled down.
"They came in above the call of duty to get us through," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The Tigers optioned RHP Guido Guido Knudson to Triple-A Toledo and recalled LHP Jeff Ferrell and INF Dixon Machado after the game. Machado will replace SS Jose Iglesias for a few days after Iglesias fouled a pitch off his finger while attempting to bunt Thursday night.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (rotator cuff strain) reported no problems throwing from 90 feet before the game. He will try from 120 feet on Friday. "Baby steps," Sanchez said.
Royals: The Royals have had no more cases of chickenpox after RHP Kelvin Herrera and RF Alex Rios were diagnosed last weekend, Yost said. Both are doing better.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein makes his first start since late May in the opener of a three-game set against Cleveland. He had been out with a sore left shoulder.
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen continues his quest for a spot in Kansas City's postseason rotation in the opener of a three-game series against the White Sox.