Detroit The Detroit Tigers know they have played two struggling teams this week. They also know that, for the first time in years, they were able to take advantage of it.
Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe homered, and Mike Maroth pitched six strong innings as the Tigers improved to 5-0 on their current homestand with a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
"We're playing great, and we're going to ride the wave," Inge said.
Detroit has outscored the Minnesota Twins and Royals by a combined 40-4 in the five victories. They finish the homestand against the Los Angeles Angels today and Thursday.
"We're doing everything it takes to win," Maroth said. "I'm definitely enjoying going to the ballpark every day."
Kansas City has lost five straight and is 0-11 on the road this season. The major-league record of 13 road losses to start a season is held by the 1969 Houston Astros and 1988 Baltimore Orioles.
"I just repeat myself every night - take my quotes from yesterday and write them down again," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said in a 54-second postgame news conference. "This is the big leagues, and my gosh, you have to swing the bat better than that."
The Royals, who now play two games in Minnesota followed by three in Chicago, have four runs and a .154 batting average in their last five road games.
"No one is going through anything as bad as this," second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said. "We've gotten good pitching, but some games we don't drive in the runners we have on base, and some games we just don't have any runners on base to begin with.
"Give the Tigers credit. They took advantage of us, which is just what I would want to do if I were playing against us."
Maroth (4-1) allowed one run, four hits and a walk in six innings and lowered his earned-run average to 1.78. He has given up more than one run in just one of his five starts this season.
In Detroit's last 14 games, its starting pitchers are 10-3 with a 1.87 ERA.
"We got good starting pitching again," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "There's no such thing as momentum in baseball - you are only as good as your next pitcher."
Three Detroit relievers finished, with Todd Jones pitching the ninth for his fifth save in as many tries.