Wenceel Pérez hits a 2-run drive for 1st big league homer as the Tigers beat the Royals 4-1

Detroit Tigers' Wenceel Pérez, right, is hugged by Mark Canha, left, after hitting a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

DETROIT — Wenceel Pérez hit a two-run drive for his first major league homer, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Sunday.

“He hit one to the track last night,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “I guess he did a couple extra pushups this morning.”

Jake Rogers also homered for the Tigers, who have won five of seven. It was Detroit’s 10th come-from-behind win of the season.

The Royals have lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.

“I don’t think we drove a ball after the first inning until maybe the seventh,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “We couldn’t square them up.”

Detroit left-hander Tarik Skubal (4-0) pitched seven innings of one-run ball.

“He gave up a seeing-eye double and a two-strike base hit in the first, but he got another gear after that,” Hinch said. “That’s what you expect from a guy who is going to anchor your rotation.”

Skubal struck out six while improving to 2-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 12 career games against the Royals.

“We knew coming in it was going to be a challenge. He’s one of the best pitchers in the league,” Quatraro said. “Upper-90s velocity, location, plus changeup, curveball — you name it.”

Jason Foley pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

Royals right-hander Michael Wacha (1-3) permitted four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Kansas City took a 1-0 lead on Bobby Witt Jr.’s RBI single in the first, but Pérez put Detroit in front with a drive to right in the bottom half.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone,” said Pérez, who is hitting .286 since making his major league debut on April 8. “And when we give (Skubal) a lead, the game is done. We know he’s going to do the job.”

The Tigers made it 3-1 in the second when Rogers singled, took third on Parker Meadows’ double and scored on Riley Greene’s sacrifice fly.

Rogers added his second homer of the season in the sixth, and Skubal stranded runners on first and third in the seventh.

“We were probably a little fastball heavy early in the game, but then he was really dominant with the changeup,” said Rogers, who has caught all of Skubal’s starts this season.

Kansas City’s Salvador Perez walked in the ninth, extending his on-base streak to 18 games.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today