Jorge Soler eclipses Kansas City Royals home run mark in 6-5 win over Detroit Tigers
By KOLLIN MILLER
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jorge Soler got Kansas City going with a record-breaking home run before Ryan O’Hearn ended the game with one swing of his bat.
Soler eclipsed the franchise home run mark with his 39th homer of the season and O’Hearn hit a pinch-hit, game-ending home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Royals to a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
O’Hearn sent the first pitch he saw from Zac Reininger (0-1) in the ninth inning over the fence in right field after a seesaw final three innings.
Tigers’ starter Daniel Norris grooved Soler a 2-2 fastball in the third inning and the Royals’ slugger didn’t miss. The three-run shot broke a tie with Mike Moustakas, who set the previous record with 38 home runs in 2017.
The home run also gave Soler 100 RBIs on the season, becoming the first Royal to cross the century mark since Eric Hosmer in 2016.
Mike Montgomery was solid once again, allowing one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Whit Merrifield had three hits, upping his season total to 176, just one back of Boston’s Rafael Devers for the MLB lead.
The Tigers scored four runs from the seventh inning on to twice rally from deficits. Brandon Dixon put Detroit up 4-3 in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly to score Jeimer Candelario, then tied the game in the ninth on Ronny Rodriguez’s single, but Alex Gordon threw out Willi Castro at home to end the inning.
Gordon tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, legging out an infield single and Soler put the Royals up 5-4, racing home on a wild pitch.
“It got crazy there at the end,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We had our chances and didn’t make enough pitches.”
Ian Kennedy (2-2) blew his fourth save of the season, but got the win thanks to O’Hearn.
Soler’s home run was the only blemish on Norris, who threw just three innings because of pitching limits set by the Tigers.