Mikie Mahtook blasted a go-ahead, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, lifting the host Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals on Saturday at Comerica Park.
Mahtook followed Niko Goodrum’s leadoff single with his ninth long ball of the season to left off Jason Hammel (3-14).
Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez, who announced a day earlier that Saturday’s game would be the last of his career, was removed after an infield single in the first.
Goodrum, who hadn’t played since Sept. 12 due to a right quad contusion, had three hits, scored a run and knocked in two more. Nicholas Castellanos recorded his 19th three-hit game this season and scored a run.
Joe Jiminez (5-4) wound up with the victory after giving up an eighth-inning run.
Shane Greene collected his 31st save for the Tigers (63-92) despite allowing Salvador Perez’s solo homer in the ninth.
Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann gave up two runs on three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two. Kansas City starter Jakob Junis, who won his previous four starts against the Tigers this season, allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Whit Merrifield reached base four times on two hits and two walks, scored a run and knocked in another for Kansas City (53-102). Alex Gordon added a solo shot.
Detroit has won two of the first three games of the four-game series.
The Royals took the lead two batters into the game. Merrifield drilled a triple to center and scored on Adalberto Mondesi’s sacrifice fly.
Detroit scored a two-out run in the bottom of the frame when Castellanos, Martinez and Goodrum hit consecutive singles.
The Tigers briefly moved in front in the third on singles by Christin Stewart and Ronny Rodriguez, followed by Goodrum’s ground-rule double.
Gordon’s 12th homer of the season, which cleared the right-field wall, tied it at 2-all in the fourth.
Kansas City handed Detroit a run in the bottom of the inning. JaCoby Jones reached on a one-out hit and advanced on Pete Kozma’s walk. Jones came around to score on a pair of Junis wild pitches.
Merrifield had a run-scoring double in the eighth to tie it again.
—Field Level Media