Bruce Chen spun eight shutout innings to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in the middle test of a three-game set.
Chen (10-10) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four to pick up the win.
"(Chen was) changing speeds up there well. He's throwing the off-speeds for strikes and throwing it well with two strikes," Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson said. "You've just got to keep battling with a guy like that."
Greg Holland stranded two in the ninth to pick up his ninth save.
Eric Hosmer knocked in the only run of the game with a bloop infield-single in the fourth inning to help the Royals to their second consecutive win.
Anibal Sanchez (2-4) scattered seven hits without issuing a walk over seven innings in the loss.
Austin Jackson had two hits, including a double, and Miguel Cabrera also doubled for the Tigers, who have lost three of their last five.
With a runner on third and two outs in the fourth inning, Hosmer fisted a pop up in between Sanchez, shortstop Jhonny Peralta and second baseman Ramon Santiago. Sanchez was the first to the ball, but couldn't get a grip on it to nab Hosmer at first and Mike Moustakas scored easily.
"(Hosmer) did an unbelievable job getting me in with two out," said Moustakas, who reached base on a one-out double. "When you have a guy [like Chen] doing that, one run's good enough."
The Tigers wasted opportunities in both the seventh and ninth to tie the game.
In the seventh Cabrera doubled to right-center field and moved to third on Prince Fielder's flyout. Delmon Young was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, but Peralta struck out and Jeff Baker grounded out to end the threat.
Detroit put two on again in the ninth, but couldn't push one across. Andy Dirks and Prince Fielder singled, but Holland struck out Young and Peralta to nail down the win.
Chen has won two of his last three starts, and hasn't lost since Aug. 12 when the Royals fell to the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3 ... The Tigers were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.