for this game

Scherzer shines as Tigers edge Royals

Sep 21, 2014 - 5:46 AM Kansas City, MO ( - Max Scherzer tossed seven innings of one-run ball to guide the Detroit Tigers past the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, in the middle contest of a key three-game series.

Scherzer (17-5) gave up seven hits while striking out six for the Tigers, who have won the first two games of this set and sit 2 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City for first place in the AL Central.

"This is a playoff series," said Scherzer. "We gotta win, they gotta win. This is what it is like in the playoffs."

Torii Hunter went 2-for-4 with a solo homer for Detroit, which got an RBI apiece from Tyler Collins and Rajai Davis.

Alcides Escobar went 4-for-5 with an RBI for the Royals, who are battling for one of the two wild card spots in the American League. Eric Hosmer drove in a run.

Kansas City starter James Shields (14-8) allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings.

The game was highlighted by a crazy play that took a run away from the Royals in the sixth inning. Salvador Perez singled and Hosmer doubled to put men on second and third with one out. The play in question began when Omar Infante lined out to second baseman Ian Kinsler. As Hosmer scrambled to get back to second, Kinsler tried to double him off and end the threat.

"The only thing we can do is keep playing hard," said Perez.

The throw to second went into shallow left field. Perez, who saw a chance to score, forgot to go back and touch third before taking off for home. The fans cheered thinking Perez had just broke a 1-1 tie.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out to argue. After Larry Vanover's crew conferred and was reportedly told the play was not reviewable, they ruled that Perez did not tag up from third base and was out on appeal.

The Tigers followed with a two-run seventh. J.D. Martinez singled and moved to second on Eugenio Suarez's two-out walk. After a wild pitch moved the runners up a base, Collins hit an RBI single to center. Suarez crossed the plate on Davis' single to right.

Kansas City got one run back in the eighth. Joba Chamberlain recorded two quick outs before giving up a single to Perez. Lane Adams replaced Perez on the basepaths, advancing to second on a wild pitch and scoring on Hosmer's single to right.

The Royals put men on second and third with two outs in the ninth. But Joe Nathan got pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez to ground out. Nathan picked up his 33rd save of the season.

Earlier, Hunter homered in the fourth to make it 1-0 Tigers. Escobar responded with an RBI single in the fifth.

Game Notes

The Tigers are 13-5 versus the Royals this season ... Hunter has recorded at least two hits in six straight games ... Scherzer improved to 11-5 lifetime against the Royals ... Kansas City went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.