Live updates: Tigers walk-off with the 6-5 victory

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Tigers' Andrew  Romine reacts after he is called safe and scores on a single by Ian Kinsler in the second inning, making it 4-0 Tigers.

Tigers win it in the ninth

Well, that was fast.

Joakim Soria got a big double play in the top of the ninth to keep the game tied, and two pitches later, the Tigers were 6-5 winners in front of a thrilled crowd at Comerica Park on Friday night.

Since the game was tied, just-called-up Yohan Pino was brought in to pitch the ninth, instead of closer Greg Holland.

Anthony Gose greeted Pino with a lined double down the right-field line. He thought about making the turn for a triple, but at this stage in the game, it wasn't worth the risk.

On the next pitch, Ian Kinsler bunted toward third, where Christian Colon seemed to have a play on the ball.

But Pino rushed in front of him and threw off balance to first -- and the throw was way wide, bringing Gose in with the winner.

With the win, the Tigers improved to 19-11 and are back in first place, a half-game up on t he Royals (18-11).

Soria got the win with another relatively clean outing. A couple Royals hit the ball hard, but he got out of it with a double play. That's his second win of the year, to go with 11 saves.

The teams are back at it Saturday afternoon, with Jeremy Guthrie going for K.C. and Anibal Sanchez for Detroit.

Tigers tie game at 5

The big man didn't come through, but Victor Martinez did -- with his aching legs, no less.

Victor Martinez drove in the tying run in the seventh inning when he beat out a double play -- yes, he beat out a double play -- making it a 5-5 game. The Tigers were facing the prospect of wasting another golden scoring opportunity when Royals reliever Jason Frasor struck out Miguel Cabrera with a nasty change-up, stranding runners at the corners.

The Royals turned to Ryan Madson to face Martinez, who quickly fell behind 2-0.

But he got the bat on the ball and hit a slow roller to short, where Alcides Escobar flipped to second for the force. Second baseman Omar Infante didn't even attempt a relay, because Martinez was hustling as hard as he could, no doubt in pain.

That brought in Anthony Gose, who led off the inning with a single, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Ian Kinsler walked to put the runners at the corners and nobody out for Cabrera, but the Tigers slugger looked anxious against Frasor -- and he struck out on what would've been ball four.

Victor Martinez picked him up, though, before Yoenis Cespdes struck out to end the inning.

Royals take lead for first time

The Royals trailed the Tigers 4-0 after two innings. They now lead the Tigers, 5-4, after getting to David Price again in the seventh inning.

TPrice had settled in nicely after allowing four runs in the fourth, getting the Royals in order in the fifth and sixth. He then got the leadoff hitter in the seventh, too.

Then the Royals got a break. Eric Hosmer hit a slow roller up the middle, where shortstop Andrew Romine ran into second baseman Ian Kinsler, allowing Hosmer time to get the infield hit.

Kendrys Morales then followed with a sharp single to left, and Alex Gordon followed him with a sharper RBI single to center.

That gave Kansas City its first lead of the night. It also knocked Price from the game -- but not because he was done. He was injured. Heading to back up home plate on the Gordon single, Price slipped on Gordon's bat.

Price was bent over, bringing a trainer and manager Brad Ausmus out of the dugout. Price tried to throw a warmup pitch, but he bent over in pain again, and Ausmus took him out of the game.

Price, who left to a nice ovation from the large crowd for the opening game of this weekend Royals-Tigers series, headed to the bench, where he immediately began icing his right knee.

Alex Wilson came on in relief of Price and got Salvador Perez to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Tigers miss chance to score go-ahead run

There are some missed opportunities that sting more than others.

And this one stung a long.

With heavy rain on its way to Comerica Park, the Tigers couldn't afford to squander Ian Kinsler's lead-off double -- but that's exactly what they did.

Yoenis Cespdes couldn't score Ian Kinsler from third with one out, and J.D. Martinez struck out on three pitches to end the threat and keep the game tied at 4 through five innings. Five innings, of course, is when a game becomes officially, and if the Tigers would've taken the lead and the rains came and kept the teams from playing on, Detroit would've scored the victory.

The Royals clearly knew the situation and the weather report. They stalled numerous times with catcher Salvador Perez visiting Royals ace Yordano Ventura on the mound as the rains began to fall.

Kinsler led off with a ripped double to left, on a 98-mph fastball by Ventura. He moved to third on Miguel Cabrera's groundout to second, where former Tiger Omar Infante made a nice defensive play.

With a runner at third and one out, Ventura wanted no part of Victor Martinez, who walked on four pitches -- the old unintentional/intentional walk.

Then Cespedes, looking overanxious, grounded to third, and the throw came home to easily Kinsler, who was running on contact. J.D. Martinez then whiffed on three pitches, all curveballs, including the last one which was in the dirt.

Perez hits a loooooooooong home run

David Price had been rolling right alone since getting out of that jam in the first inning. The balls that were hit hard in the first, they weren't hit so hard in the second or third.

But the Royals perked up in the fourth inning, with Royals slugging catcher Salvador Perez hitting a mammoth two-run homer to cut the Tigers' lead in half.

The game is tied at 4.

Alex Gordon got the rally started with a double to the warning track in left -- only after Price didn't get the strike-three call he wanted.

Perez absolutely teed off on a Price fastball right down the middle. Those two runs make up for the two Tigers runners Perez allowed to score (one on a dropped ball, one on a missed tag).

Ex-Tiger Omar Infante followed Perez with a hustle double, and Christian Colon lined a two-out RBI single to right to pull to within a run. Alcides Escobar then singled, but Price appeared out of the inning with no further damage -- until Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos threw away the ball on Lorenzo Cain's grounder, allowing the tying run to score.

You could see it coming from Castellanos. He had terrible footwork on that play.

The Royals batted around in the fourth inning and they have nine hits off Price, through just four innings. The Tigers have seven hits off Royals ace Yordano Ventura.

It'll be interesting to see how weather affects this ballgame. Rain and more appears to be closing in fast on Comerica Park.

Tigers take the early lead

David Price had a much smoother second inning.

And the Tigers offense now has given him a hefty lead to work with.

The first six Tigers reached in the bottom of the second inning, with Andrew Romine and Ian Kinsler each with a two-run single to put Detroit up 4-0 in the first game of a big weekend series against Kansas City at Comerica Park,

J.D. Martinez led off the inning with a walk, and Nick Castellanos and James McCann -- only playing because Alex Avila is hurt -- both singled, setting up Romine with nobody out.

Castellanos seemed to be a dead duck at home, but had a nifty slide, and Royals catcher Salvador Perez, oddly, dropped the ball.

Anthony Gose followed Romine with an infield single, and Kinsler then found the same hole on the right side of the infield that Romine had found for another two-run single. Romine also had a great slide to elude Perez's tag at the plate.

The Tigers haven't hit a ton of balls hard, but the balls are finding holes.

What's that they say? It's better to be lucky than good?

The only ball hit hard in the second inning, in fact, was Miguel Cabrera's scorcher to shortstop, where Alcides Escobar caught the ball and doubled off Kinsler at first base to halt the rally.

Victor Martinez flew out to left field to end the inning.

The Tigers already have seven hits off Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who, remember, is coming off a seven-game suspension for his role in a brawl.

Price works out of an early jam

This is a big series for the Tigers, who've been a bit wobbly lately.

And the first inning of Friday night's game against the Royals seemed worrisome for the Tigers, too, as David Price gave up hits to the first two hitters.

But the Tigers ace, as he tends to do, fought back and got a flyout, and then Kendrys Morales hit into an inning-ending double play.

The good news for the Tigers: The Royals didn't score in the first.

The bad news for the Tigers: The Royals hit several balls hard against Price in that first frame.

There's one lineup note, by the way: Tigers catcher Alex Avila was scratched late from the lineup with a right forearm contusion. There's no word on when he'll play again.

It's expected to be a huge weekend at Comerica Park, where more than 120,000 fans are expected to take in the big early season series between the first-place Royals and second-place Tigers.

Check out tweets from our Tigers team during the game:

Pregame notes

The Detroit Tigers (18-11) open a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals (18-10) Friday at Comerica Park (FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM). First pitch is 7:08.

Left-hander David Price (3-1, 2.93 ERA) starts for the Tigers while right-hander Yordano Ventura (2-2, 4.94) goes for the Royals.

Ventura is making his first start since serving a seven-game suspension for his role in a fight with the White Sox April 23.

Price is coming off his best outing of the season, throwing a complete-game five-hitter in a 2-1 victory over the Royals last Sunday. He struck out three while not allowing a walk.

Andrew Romine (4-for-14, .500) gets the start at shortstop as Jose Iglesias misses his second straight game with a sore groin. Hernan Perez started in Thursday's 4-1 win over the White Sox, going 0-for-4 at the plate while hitting in the No. 9 spot.

Royals lineup

1. Alcides Escobar, SS

2. Lorenzo Cain, CF

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B

4. Kendrys Morales, DH

5. Alex Gordon, LF

6. Salvador Perez, C7

7. Omar Infante, 2B

8. Paulo Orlando, RF

9. Christian Colon, 3B

SP - Yordano Ventura

Tigers lineup

1. Anthony Gose, CF

2. Ian Kinsler, 2B

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

6. J.D. Martinez, RF

7. Alex Avila, C

8. Nick Castellanos, 3B

9. Andrew Romine, SS

SP - David Price