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Tigers erupt for 26 hits, crush Royals

Omar Infante, Andy Dirks, Austin Jackson and the Detroit Tigers combined for 26 hits, with the offensive clinic beginning against James Shields and ending in a 16-2 rout of the Kansas City Royals.

Two days after getting embarrassed by Boston, 20-4, the Tigers took out their frustrations on the playoff-hopeful Royals. Infante was a perfect 5-for-5 with six RBI, Dirks also had five hits and scored four times and Jackson knocked in four with a pair a two-run scoring hits.

Of the Tigers' 26 hits, only six went for extra bases and the team accomplished the impressive scoring total without hitting a single home run.

"It was just one of those freak games, they don't happen very often," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "Either way, I don't think this will happen tomorrow."

Shields (10-9) took the brunt of the outburst, charged with 10 of the runs and 14 of the hits over 3 2/3 innings of work.

"He had had enough," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "He was at 90 pitches and with the way that our (bullpen) has been here the last two games I really didn't have any options. I was trying to go as far as I could with him."

Kansas City, which had won nine of 12 coming in, remained 4 1/2 games back of the final wild card berth in the American League after Tampa Bay fell to Seattle.

Winning his sixth straight decision with rather ease, Anibal Sanchez (13-7) scattered seven hits and one run over seven innings.

The unraveling for Shields began in the second inning, as the Tigers quickly erased their 1-0 deficit by stringing together four straight hits -- three of which produced runs. Infante singled with runners at the corners and Detroit had a 4-1 lead after back-to-back doubles from Ramon Santiago and Jackson. Miguel Cabrera then added a two-out RBI single for a four-run cushion.

The Tigers tacked on another five runs in the fourth, four of them coming with two out. Prince Fielder made it 6-1 with an RBI single and Shields was done after a run-scoring hit by Infante. Luis Mendoza took over and didn't fair much better, walking Santiago with the bases loaded and then allowing a two- run single to Jackson that enabled the Tigers to take a 10-1 lead.

Infante stroked a three-run double in the fifth to further increase the advantage, and it was 15-1 after Dirks and Infante laced RBI singles in the seventh.

Back-to-back doubles from Dirks and Alex Avila in the ninth accounted for the Tigers final run total.

The Royals only scored in the first and ninth innings, with Billy Butler opening up an early advantage with an RBI single. Jarrod Dyson produced a hardly meaningful sacrifice fly that brought in David Lough in the their last turn at the plate.

Game Notes

Shields has given up 14 hits in a game twice, the last time occurring on June 28, 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was last charged with 10 runs back on July 12, 2011 ... Detroit was an incredible 13-for-26 with runners in scoring position.