Placido Polanco went 3-for-5 with a home run, four runs driven in and two runs scored, and Marcus Thames had a three-run homer to help Justin Verlander remain perfect at home, as the Tigers earned an 8-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the middle test of a three-game set.
Verlander (9-4) gave up five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits in six innings while fanning 11 to move to 5-0 in seven starts in the Motor City this season. Fernando Rodney tossed a scoreless ninth to record his 18th save on the year.
Miguel Cabrera had a solo homer for Detroit, which snapped a three-game slide.
Bruce Chen (0-3) took the loss after giving up seven runs on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Chen hasn't won in the majors since October 2, 2005.
"They do have a good lineup and everything...I made a couple of bad pitches and paid for it. They got me out of my game and I definitely made some bad pitches," said Chen.
Billy Butler and Jose Guillen both had two hits and an RBI for the Royals, who saw their three-game winning streak halted. David DeJesus went 3-for-5 with three RBI for Kansas City, which is still just 3-5 over its last eight tilts.
With the Royals trailing by three runs in the ninth, Ryan Freel smacked a leadoff single to center off Rodney to get things going. DeJesus was caught looking at the third strike for the first out, but Willie Bloomquist drew a walk. However, Butler flied to right for the second out and Mark Teahen went down swinging to end the game.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Cabrera's two-out solo homer to deep left.
KC took the lead in the second, though. Singles from Guillen and Alberto Callaspo made it first and third with one out. Miguel Olivo whiffed for the second out before Freel reached first on catcher interference by Gerald Laird to load the bases. DeJesus then laced a bases-clearing double to left to make it 3-1.
Polanco had a two-run homer to left in the third to tie it up. Polanco then added an RBI single in the fifth, while Thames clubbed a three-run homer in the frame to make it 7-3.
Butler opened the sixth with a homer to left-center. Mark Teahen then made it to second on Brandon Inge's botched throw and crossed home, as Guillen followed with a single, cutting the deficit to 7-5.
Polanco tacked on another RBI single in the home portion to make it a three- run affair.
"What can I say? I just tried to focus and put a good swing on the baseball. I'm happy it went our way today," said Polanco.
Verlander has gone 9-1 in 13 starts against the Royals. He beat Kansas City back on May 25 with a sensational effort that saw him scatter five hits over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out eight in that contest without walking a batter...Verlander came into Tuesday's start winless in his previous two outings...Detroit has won five of its eight matchups with the Royals this season.