Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Alcides Escobar set the tone for the game with one swing of the bat.
Escobar hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Saturday.
Escobar finished with two RBI and two runs scored for the Royals, who bounced back from a 6-5 loss in Friday's series opener. Eric Hosmer also drove in two runs.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie (2-2) allowed two runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He improved to 10-8 lifetime against Detroit.
"Guthrie had his best stuff of the year today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He threw his fastball 92-95 (mph) and was locating pitches extremely well. His secondary stuff was really good, throwing it all for strikes."
Nick Castellanos knocked in two runs for the Tigers (19-12), who fell into second place behind Kansas City in the AL Central. Anibal Sanchez (2-4) gave up six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits with three walks over six innings.
Prior to Saturday's game, Detroit placed catcher Alex Avila on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee injury. Avila was a late scratch Friday due to a right forearm contusion. An MRI exam on his left knee, which had been bothering him for weeks, revealed loose bodies that likely will require arthroscopic surgery.
The Tigers also announced that pitcher David Price has a mild right hamstring strain. Price was hurt during the seventh inning of Friday's game when he stepped on a bat while running to back up home plate. Price is next slated to start Thursday against Minnesota.
Escobar started the game with a homer over the wall in left. Lorenzo Cain followed with an infield single and raced home on Hosmer's double to left- center field.
The Royals tacked on two more runs in the second. Jarrod Dyson doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Escobar's single to left-center field. Escobar advanced to third when Cain reached on J.D. Martinez's fielding error, then crossed the plate on Hosmer's single to center.
"It was just one of those days. That first pitch was at the guy's chin and he hits it out of the ballpark," Tigers catcher James McCann said of Escobar's homer. "It was the tell-tale sign of the day. They made pitches, made some good swings."
Detroit got one run back in the bottom half. Yoenis Cespedes singled, moved to third on Martinez's single and scored on Castellanos' sacrifice fly.
Kansas City loaded the bases with one out in the third after Alex Gordon was hit by a pitch, Christian Colon singled and Dyson walked. Drew Butera's RBI groundout made it 5-1.
Omar Infante added an RBI single in the fourth, but Castellanos cut the gap to 6-2 with an RBI triple with two outs in the sixth.
Luke Hochevar recorded the final two outs in the eighth and Greg Holland tossed a scoreless ninth.
Infante finished a homer shy of the cycle ... In each of his previous eight starts vs. Kansas City, Sanchez had worked at least six innings and allowed three runs or fewer. He fell to 6-3 lifetime against the Royals.