Tigers Dump The Royals 7-2

Sunday, September 23rd 2007, 3:16 pm
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Justin Verlander earned his 18th win, Marcus Thames homered twice and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 on Sunday to help their dwindling playoff chances.

Moments after their victory, the Tigers were eliminated from the AL Central race when Cleveland beat Oakland to clinch the division title. The defending AL champions still have an outside shot at the wild card, but they need a New York Yankees collapse in the final week to reach the postseason.

Verlander (18-6) allowed two runs, five hits and two walks in six innings. He has 35 wins in his first two full seasons, the most for a Tigers pitcher since Frank Lary also had 35 from 1955-56.

Detroit scored four runs off Jorge De La Rosa in the first and never looked back.

With one out, Placido Polanco singled and scored on Ryan Raburn's double. Carlos Guillen made it 2-0 with an RBI single, and Thames homered off the foul pole in left.

De La Rosa (8-12) allowed four hits and a walk in the only inning of his first start since July 31.

Billy Butler led off the Kansas City second with his eighth homer, but the Royals handed the run back when Ramon Santiago reached on an error by third baseman Alex Gordon and scored after another error by second baseman Jason Smith.

Thames led off the third with another homer to left, his 16th, to give Detroit a 6-1 lead.

Neither team scored again until Smith's RBI groundout made it 6-2 in the sixth, but the Royals never put together a serious rally against the Tigers' bullpen.

Raburn capped the scoring with a leadoff homer in the eighth.