ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are beginning to get contributions from more than just a few players.
Delmon Young homered for the fourth consecutive game, Prince Fielder hit a three-run shot, and Jhonny Peralta homered and drove in three runs in Detroit's 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday to complete a sweep of the three-game weekend series.
Young and Peralta, who were both expected to provide power and production behind Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, have had slow starts. After his homer streak, Young has 10 home runs and 37 RBIs, while Peralta goes into the All-Star break with only five home runs and 27 RBIs.
Tigers' manager Jim Leyland discussed the free-swinging Young before the game.
"He's hitting strikes. That's been the big difference," Leyland said. "He's getting pitches to hit, and he's hitting 'em."
He talked about Peralta, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, after the game.
"He's pulling the balls he's supposed to pull. He hasn't really pulled the ball this year, and he's a pull hitter. I think he was so conscious of swinging at some breaking balls going the other way that he was missing balls that he should pull," Leyland said. "Today he pulled the ball. What he needs to do is pull the ball on a more consistent basis and with two strikes, take the ball the other way."
The power display backed Max Scherzer (8-5), who allowed a run and five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out seven.
"He was pretty good. He was 96, good run on his fastball," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said about Scherzer. "He was good. It's the best we've seen him."
It was the Tigers' season-high fifth-straight win and put them two games over .500 for the first time since April 25 (10-8).
"It's the consistency. You can look at our team, we're just playing good team baseball. Everybody's starting to kind of click, our offense is really starting to produce some runs," Scherzer said. "Our starting staff is starting to give a lot more quality starts, give them a chance to do their job."
Phil Coke pitched a perfect eighth, and Octavio Dotel worked a perfect ninth.
Royals' starter Everett Teaford (1-2) took the loss. He allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked a batter and struck out five.
Peralta's two-out, two-run homer in the second inning gave Detroit a 2-0 lead. His towering drive down the left-field line and into the stands came on Teaford's 0-1 pitch and followed Brennan Boesch's single
"Left a fastball up to Peralta, he's a good high ball hitter," Teaford said.
Salvador Perez cut the lead in half for Kansas City with his fourth homer, leading off the third. A right-handed batter, Perez lined Scherzer's 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence and into the stands.
Young's 10th home run, leading off the fourth made it 3-1.
Kansas City threatened with runners on second and third with two out in the fifth on a lead-off single by Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon's two-out double that sent Francoeur to third. But Scherzer got Alcides Escobar swinging to end the inning.
Fielder's three-run homer in the fifth broke the game open, giving the Tigers a 6-1 lead.
He greeted reliever Tim Collins by launching his first pitch halfway up the right-field stands, an estimated 417 feet away.
It was the 15th homer for Fielder -- his third in four games -- who was voted the A.L. starter at first base by the fans for Tuesday night's All-Star game in Kansas City. He will also participate in today's Home Run Derby. Fielder is batting .299 and has 63 RBIs.