The Tigers went back on the losing side on Wednesday, dropping a lopsided 8-2 game to the Royals at Comerica Park.
They've now lost nine of the last 11 games.
After going down 1-0 in the third inning, Tigers starter Daniel Norris gave up four runs in the top of the fourth, when the Royals (38-38) sent 10 batters to the plate.
The Tigers (34-43) got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff home run from Alex Avila and one more in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out opposite-field homer from Miguel Cabrera.
The Tigers and Royals wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at 1:10. Michael Fulmer (6-6, 3.29 ERA) will get the ball for the Tigers, while Jake Junis (2-1, 4.97 ERA) will go for the Royals.
Royals get two more in 9th
The Tigers went back to the bullpen in the top of the ninth inning, going with right-hander Alex Wilson in relief of Warwick Saupold -- who went 4 1/3 innings to spell starter Daniel Norris.
Wilson got Jorge Bonifacio to ground out to shortstop, before Lorenzo Cain doubled to right field. Eric Hosmer then grounded out to first, advancing Cain to third with two outs. Salvador Perez doubled in Cain, making it 7-2.
Wilson then intentionally walked Mike Moustakas, putting two on with two outs. Jorge Soler followed by singling in Perez to make it a six-run game, but Moustakas was caught between second and third for the third out, ending the inning.
Going to the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers are down 8-2.
Tigers offense quiet in 8th
The Royals went to their bullpen in the top of the eighth, calling on former Tiger right-hander Joakim Soria to replace starter Ian Kennedy -- who was included in the three-team trade that brought the Tigers Max Scherzer in 2009.
Miguel Cabrera greeted Soria with a leadoff single, before Ian Kinsler flew out to center field. Alex Avila then grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing Cabrera, for the second out. Justin Upton then flew out to Jorge Bonifacio in foul territory for the third out.
After eight, the Tigers are down 6-2.
Royals pad lead in 8th
The Royals added to their lead in the top of the eighth inning.
Mike Moustakas doubled past a diving Mikie Mahtook in center field to lead off the inning. Jorge Soler then grounded out to third base for the first out before Alcides Escobar hit an infield single to third, putting runners at the corners. Alex Gordon then grounded out to second base, scoring Moustakas -- his third RBI of the game -- to pad the lead for the Royals.
Whit Merrifield grounded out to third -- breaking his bat in the process -- to end the inning.
Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Royals lead 6-2.
Tigers go quietly in 7th
The Tigers got a hit, but nothing else in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Victor Martinez led off the half inning with a line drive single to right field, over the shift. Nicholas Castellanos then grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to empty the bases. Mikie Mahtook then grounded out to third to end the inning.
After seven, the Tigers are still behind 5-2.
7th-Inning Stretch: Royals 5, Tigers 2
Warwick Saupold worked into and got out of a two-out jam in the top of the seventh inning.
Whit Merrifield grounded out to Saupold to lead off the inning. Jorge Bonifacio then grounded out to second base. Lorenzo Cain hit an infield single with two outs to extend the inning for the Royals. Saupold then walked Eric Hosmer before striking out Salvador Perez to get out of the jam.
At the Seventh-Inning Stretch, the Royals have a 5-2 lead.
Cabrera goes deep in 6th
The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the sixth inning, on their second home run of the night.
Alex Avila grounded out to second base to lead off the half inning. Justin Upton then struck out swinging before Miguel Cabrera snuck a 2-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy over the wall in right field for a two-out, opposite-field home run. J.D. Martinez then flew out to right field to end the inning.
After six, the Tigers are down 5-2.
Saupold throws 1-2-3 6th
Warwick Saupold threw a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning for the Tigers.
Jorge Soler grounded out to third base to lead off the inning. Nicholas Castellanos made a poor throw to first base, but Miguel Cabrera made up for it with a good tag to get the out. Alcides Escobar then popped out to second base for the second out. Alex Gordon grounded out to Saupold to end the quick inning.
Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers still trail 5-1.
Tigers strand 2 in 5th
The Tigers had a runner in scoring position for the first time in the bottom of the fifth inning, but left two runners stranded in the frame.
Victor Martinez struck out swinging to lead off the half inning before Nicholas Castellanos hit an infield single to third base. Mike Moustakas made the throw in time to first base, but the throw briefly pulled Eric Hosmer off the bag at first, allowing Castellanos to reach safely. Mikie Mahtook grounded into a fielder's choice to Alicides Escobar at shortstop, who flipped to second base to get Castellanos for the second out. Jose Iglesias walked to put two on before Ian Kinsler grounded out to Moustakas at third, who threw to first where Hosmer made an impressive pick at the ball in the dirt to get the third out.
The Tigers are down 5-1 after five.
Upton busy in 1-2-3 5th
Justin Upton was busy in the top of the fifth inning, recording all three outs in the 1-2-3 frame. He has recorded the last four in a row for the Tigers defensively.
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez lined out to Upton to start the inning, before Mike Moustakas popped out to him to end it.
Going to the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers are down 5-1.
Avila homers in 4th
The Tigers got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Alex Avila sent a 2-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy over the wall in left field for a solo home run, making it 5-1. Justin Upton flew out to left field before Miguel Cabrera popped out to shortstop. J.D. Martinez grounded out to second base to end the inning.
After four, the Tigers are down 5-1.
Norris unravels, exits in 4th
Things got ugly for Daniel Norris in the top of the fourth inning.
Lorenzo Cain grounded out to second base to lead off the inning. Eric Hosmer followed with an infield single, aided by an off-target throw to first from Nicholas Castellanos at third. Then, Salvador Perez hit a 2-run home run off the brick wall of retired numbers in left center field on a 3-0 pitch to add to the lead for the Royals. Mike Moustakas followed with a long homer to right field to make it 4-0.
Norris struck Jorge Soler out looking for the second out. Alcides Escobar reached with two outs on an infield single off the glove of Miguel Cabrera, before Alex Gordon knocked in his second run of the game on a double down the right field line to make it 5-0. Whit Merrifield then reached on an infield single past a diving Cabrera, sending Gordon to third and ending the day for Norris.
Right-hander Warwick Saupold entered, and after walking Jorge Bonifacio to load the bases, he got Cain to line out to a sliding Justin Upton in left field to end the inning and stop the bleeding.
Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers are down 5-0.
Castellanos singles, stranded in 3rd
The Tigers got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning, but left it stranded at first.
Nicholas Castellanos singled to lead off the half inning before Mikie Mahtook flew out to a running Lorenzo Cain in left center field -- preventing a likely RBI double. Jose Iglesias then struck out looking for the second out before Ian Kinsler flew out to right field to end the inning.
After three, the Tigers are still down 1-0.
Royals get on board in 3rd
The Royals scored quickly in the top of the third inning.
After Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a double to the right field corner, he scored on an RBI single from the next batter, Alex Gordon, to put the Royals on the board.
Whit Merrifield then grounded into a 4-3 double play to empty the bases before Jorge Bonifacio flew out to right field to end the half inning.
Going to the bottom of the third, the Tigers are down 1-0.
Tigers go in order again in 2nd
The Tigers had two hard-hit balls in the bottom of the second inning, but went down 1-2-3.
Miguel Cabrera hit a line drive to a running Lorenzo Cain in right center field, before J.D. Martinez grounded out to shortstop for two quick outs. Victor Martinez -- in his first at-bat since coming off the 10-day disabled list for an irregular heartbeat -- hit one to the warning track in straightaway center field, but Cain was there for the third out.
After two, the game remains scoreless.
Norris works 1-2-3 2nd, fans pair
Daniel Norris was rolling in the top of the second inning, retiring the Royals in order.
Norris struck Salvador Perez out swinging, before getting Mike Moustakas to fly out to right field. Norris got Jorge Soler to strike out swinging to end the half inning.
Going to the bottom of the second, it's still scoreless.
Tigers go 1-2-3 in 1st
The Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the first inning.
Ian Kinsler flew out to right fielder Jorge Bonifacio in foul territory before Alex Avila (looking) and Justin Upton (swinging) struck out.
After one, the game is still scoreless.
Norris strands 1-out walk in 1st
Daniel Norris left a runner on in the top of the first inning.
Whit Merrifield flew out to Mikie Mahtook in left center field for the first out before Norris walked Jorge Bonifacio. Lorenzo Cain flew out to a running Justin Upton in shallow left center for the second out and Eric Hosmer flew out to center field to end the half inning.
Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.
Live blog: Tigers vs. Royals
The Tigers will get a little help Wednesday night as they try to climb back into the American League Central Division race.
Designated hitter Victor Martinez returns to the lineup as the Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals in the second of their three-game series at Comerica Park. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
Martinez is back from the 10-day disabled list after he was sidelined with an irregular heartbeat.
Martinez is hitting sixth — he's usually their cleanup hitter — as the Tigers try to build a modest three-game winning streak after dropping eight straight.
Martinez is hitting .261 with a .714 OPS with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 60 games.
The Tigers still sit in fourth in the AL Central, but with Tuesday night's 5-3 victory, pulled within 3.5 games of the Royals for third place.
Left-hander Daniel Norris starts for the Tigers. Right-hander Ian Kennedy takes the mound for the Royals.
ROYALS AT TIGERS
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 34-42, fourth place in the American League Central, six games behind the Cleveland Indians. The Royals are 37-38, third place in the AL Central, 2.5 games behind the Indians.
1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
2. Jorge Bonafacio, RF
3. Lorenzo Cain, CF
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Jorge Soler, DH
8. Alcides Escobar, SS
9. Alex Gordon, LF
SP: Ian Kennedy, RHP
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Alex Avila, C
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Victor Martinez, DH
7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
8. Mikie Mahtook, CF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Daniel Norris, LHP