DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers expected their offense to pick up once Dmitri Young returned to the lineup. They just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.
In Young’s first game back from a broken leg, the Tigers had their first five-home run day Monday at Comerica Park, beating the Kansas City Royals 8-4 to stop a three-game losing streak.
“We had a lot of great performances out there today,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “But the way we’ve been struggling, I’m only thinking about getting the win.”
Eric Munson and Carlos Guillen hit two home runs each, the first multiple home run games of their careers. No. 9 hitter Omar Infante hit his third of the year as Detroit won for the second time in eight games.
“I’ll take that kind of support every day,” winning pitcher Gary Knotts said. “And with D back in the lineup, we know our offense is going to capable of a lot of days like this.”
Guillen’s second home run came on a line drive that took a bad hop past center fielder Carlos Beltran and became the third inside-the-park home run in the ballpark’s five-year history.
“I’ve been working on that bounce in batting practice,” Guillen joked. “I’m going to try to do it again tomorrow.”
Young, playing his first game since breaking his right leg April 6 in the season’s second game, went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
“I was battling the nerves a little, but that’s expected,” he said. “Once you get out there, though, you just think about winning. Now that I’m back out there, it’s going to be a fun summer.”
Ivan Rodriguez was called out in the fifth inning for passing Guillen on the bases. Guillen had held up at second on a long fly ball and Rodriguez, who started the play on first, went past him before realizing the ball was going to be caught.
“That play kept us in the game,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. “We still had a chance after Pudge did that, but it got out of hand pretty quick.”
Knotts (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in 61/3 innings, while Kansas City’s Darrell May (2-7) fell to 1-3 in his last four starts, giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings. Last-place Kansas City, struggling to overcome a slow start in the AL Central, has lost two in a row after winning four of five.
“It seemed like they knew exactly what was coming,” said May, who beat the Tigers in his previous start. “I got in trouble last time, but I got out of it. This time, every time I made a mistake, they just crushed it.”