Kansas City Royals top Detroit Tigers 4-2 to win 1st series of season

The Detroit Tigers’ John Hicks, below, is out at second as Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield throws to first for a double play in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday. (AP photo)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Moustakas led the Kansas City Royals to a series win for the first time in 11 tries this season.

He drove in three runs with a double and sacrifice fly, and the Royals beat Detroit 4-2 on Sunday to take three of four from the Tigers. Kansas City had lost nine previous series this year and split one.

“We’ve been going out and grinding and playing good baseball,” Moustakas said. “Obviously things haven’t really been going our way. Lately we’ve been playing great ball.”

Kansas City has won six of its last nine games, leaving the Royals at 11-23.

Jakob Junis (4-2) improved to 3-0 against the Tigers this year and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. He allowed two runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.

Kelvin Herrera retired pinch-hitter Nicholas Castellanos on a game-ending flyout with a man on for his seventh save.

Matthew Boyd (1-3) gave up four runs and six hits in seven innings, dropping to 2-6 against Kansas City.

“We got a lot of weak contact,” Boyd said. “I made most of my pitches all game, it’s just that Moustakas was one of my mistakes.”

Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly in the first and had a two-run double to the base of the center-field wall in the third. Moustakas scored when Salvador Perez singled on a popup that shortstop Jose Iglesias lost in the sun.

Detroit’s John Hicks homered in the fourth and hit a run-scoring single in the eighth off Brad Keller.