DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers ended their offensive
struggles on Sunday.
Placido Polanco had four hits, including a home run, to power an
18-hit effort that carried Detroit to a 14-4 victory over the
Kansas City Royals.Polanco scored four runs and drove in two for Detroit, which won
its second straight after a nine-game losing streak. Brandon Inge
and Chris Shelton also homered for the Tigers, who broke open a tie
game with four runs in the fifth. The 18 hits tied a season high
for Detroit."We broke out today, it's been awhile," Tigers manager Alan
Trammell said.Polanco, who had four hits for the second consecutive game, was
involved in every inning in which Detroit scored."The balls have just been falling in," he said. "Sometimes
you hit 'em and they get caught."Polanco was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on June 8."I think he's the brightest thing to happen to us this
season," Trammell said. "He's a big piece of the puzzle."Detroit starter Jason Johnson (8-12) gave up three runs and
eight hits in five innings, not walking a batter and striking out
four. He came out of the game because of a strain under his right
arm.Johnson said it bothered him the entire game and was aggravated
when he fielded a bunt by Chip Ambres in the third inning."Trammell and (pitching coach Bob) Cluck told me after the
third that they were going to take me out," Johnson said. "And I
said, 'I don't want to come out."Kansas City's Joe Lima (5-15) allowed five runs and seven hits
in four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out one.Inge's two-run homer in the fifth broke a 3-all tie and finished
Lima."Major league hitters, you make mistakes and they make you
pay," Lima said.Inge's 13th of the season followed Polanco's leadoff bunt
single."It felt good, I think it gave us a spark," Inge said. "We've
been hitting the ball hard, but it's been always right at a guy.
Today is a different game for us.Vance Wilson drove in two runs later in the inning with a
two-out bases-loaded single off Leo Nunez.Polanco led off the sixth with his fourth home run of the
season, which also came off Nunez. Detroit added six in the seventh
against Jeremy Affeldt and Chris Demaria.Curtis Granderson singled in a run, Polanco drove in one with a
double, Inge had a sacrifice fly and Nook Logan hit a two-run
triple and scored on an error.Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the first on Shelton's two-run homer.
His 13th of the season also scored Polanco, who had reached on an
error by shortstop Angel Berroa.The Tigers made it 3-0 in the third on Granderson's two-out RBI
double. It scored Craig Monroe, who had led off with a double.
Polanco followed Granderson with a single but left fielder Terrence
Long threw out Granderson at the plate to end the inning.Kansas City scored in the third on Long's run-scoring single.
The Royals tied it at 3 in the fifth on Andres Blanco's bunt RBI
single and Mike Sweeney's run-producing single. Mark Teahen singled
in a run for Kansas City in the eighth.
Shelton's homer was his first since Aug. 19. ... Lima has
allowed 28 home runs this season in 29 games. ... Polanco is
8-for-10 with five runs scored and three RBI in his last two