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Published: Tuesday, 7/7/2009

Jacobs' blast sinks Tigers in 9th

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Placido Polanco can't get a grip on the ball as the Royals' Willie Bloomquist reaches on a double. Placido Polanco can't get a grip on the ball as the Royals' Willie Bloomquist reaches on a double.
DUANE BURLESON / AP Enlarge

DETROIT - Mike Jacobs' homer in the ninth inning gave the Kansas City Royals the lead over the Detroit Tigers.

Jacobs' teammates responded by giving him the silent treatment in the dugout after he cleared the fences for the first time in a month.

"At first, I couldn't figure out where everyone had gone, but then I realized what they were doing," Jacobs said Monday night after Kansas City beat Detroit 4-3. "I started high-fiving the air because you have to play along.

"It was great - I'll take that any day."

The Tigers, meanwhile, were left to ponder why they're not getting a lot of those kind of clutch hits.

Detroit stranded four runners in the second and third innings and finished the game with seven left on base. Only Ryan Raburn had more than a hit for the Tigers, whose .258 batting average ranks among the AL's worst.

"Our offense overall is not doing the job," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "From top to bottom, it just isn't clicking.

"You certainly hope you snap out of it at some point."

Detroit leads Minnesota by 1 1/2 games and the Chicago White Sox by 2 games in the AL Central, but the offensively struggling team is clearly frustrated.

"We've got too many good hitters to be stranding runners all over the place like we are," catcher Gerald Laird said. "We've got to get it figured out over the next couple of months if we're going to win anything."

Kansas City has three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row in mid-June.

Roman Colon (1-0) earned his first win since 2006, when he was pitching for Detroit, and Joakim Soria saved his 13th game in 15 chances, and third in as many games.

Willie Bloomquist drove in three runs for the Royals on a home run in the sixth and a two-run triple in the eighth.

Raburn homered in the sixth and had an RBI double in the eighth, making it 3-all.

Jacobs broke the tie with a shot to right off Fernando Rodney (0-2), who entered in the ninth after Joel Zumaya allowed Bloomquist to put Kansas City ahead.

"Their bullpen guys left a couple pitches up, and we were able to take advantage," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "That's something we needed to see."

The Tigers had a chance to take the lead in the ninth when

Laird hit a one-out single, but Soria struck out pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago and all-star Curtis Granderson.

"We couldn't come up with the killer hit," Leyland lamented. "It's not falling into place right now. We're not just hitting much."

The Tigers, who opened a homestand after losing two straight at Minnesota, had won eight straight at Comerica Park. They began the night 23-11 in Detroit for the team's best 34-game start at home since 1984.

Both teams got solid results from their starting pitchers.

Detroit's Armando Galarraga allowed a run on five hits and struck out seven over seven innings. The slumping Zumaya, though, followed and gave up two runs on two hits in only one inning.

Gil Meche allowed two runs over 52/3 innings, and Juan Cruz followed with 12/3 innings of scoreless relief.

NOTES: Kansas City acquired utilityman Ryan Freel from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named, and he's expected to join the Royals today in Detroit. ... Rookie RHP Rick Porcello will have his next turn in the rotation skipped. ... Tigers OF Carlos Guillen is moving closer to playing after being on the DL since May 5 with a shoulder injury. ... The Royals avoided having at least one injured player when center fielder Mitch Maier collided with right fielder Jose Guillen on a fly in the sixth. "I'm sorry," Maier said. to Guillen.



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