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Home run barrage powers Royals as Tigers fail to master Kansas City once more

DETROIT -- Jim Leyland is out of answers.

Not only did his division-leading Detroit Tigers drop a fifth straight game to the last-place Kansas City Royals, 11-1 on Tuesday night, he has to fill another spot in his patchwork rotation.

Jarrod Washburn lasted just one inning -- the shortest start of his career -- and gave up four runs before it became obvious that his sore left knee wasn't up to pitching. The Tigers lost Nate Robertson (groin) and Armando Galarraga (elbow) last week, while Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman have been unavailable for almost the entire season.

"I don't have any information for you right now, because I don't have any information for myself," Leyland said. "I have no idea who is going to pitch. We'll get together and try to figure something out."

Washburn (9-9) struck out David DeJesus to start the game, but Willie Bloomquist doubled and Billy Butler and Miguel Olivo walked to load the bases.

A passed ball allowed the first run to score before Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer into the Kansas City bullpen in left-center field.

"When you've got a pitcher on the ropes like that, you have to finish him off," DeJesus said. "Even though he's hurt, we still have to play the game."

Washburn finished the inning, but was replaced by Zach Miner for the second, and fell to 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in eight starts since being acquired from Seattle on July 31.

"Shortly after the strikeout, we could tell he was in pain," Leyland said. "We'll see what happens, but it seems pretty obvious to me that, at this point, he's unpitchable."

The win was Kansas City's fourth over Detroit in the last eight days, and Robinson Tejeda's second in less than a week.

"The Tigers aren't as at full strength as Jim would like them, and we understand that," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "But they are still playing for something, and we don't feel sorry for them, just like no one feels sorry for us for being in last place."

Tejeda (3-1) allowed one run and two hits in five innings after shutting them out for six innings on Sept. 9.

"I don't think I'm an ace or anything like that," Tejeda said. "I'm just going out there and throwing the ball, and I've gotten the opportunity to beat them two times in a week."

Detroit had its only chance to get back into the game in the third inning, putting runners on second and third with one out. Tejeda, though, got Carlos Guillen to pop out and Magglio Ordonez to fly out.

DeJesus made it 7-0 with a three-run homer off Casey Fien in the fourth, and Olivo added an eighth run in the fifth when he tripled and scored on Callaspo's sacrifice fly.

The Tigers got on the board on Guillen's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, but Tejeda struck out Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded to end the inning.

"He gets a lot of swings and misses because there's such a difference between his fastball and his changeup and because his curveball is moving all over the place," Royals catcher John Buck said. "Once we got off to the big lead, he loosened up."

Olivo hit Kansas City's third three-run homer off Bonderman in the seventh, ending Detroit's hopes of a second straight late-inning rally. Detroit beat Toronto 6-5 in 10 innings on Monday, scoring three times in the ninth and once in the 10th.

"Someone asked me if I thought the win last night would give us momentum, and I said the same thing I always say," Leyland said. "There's no momentum in baseball -- there's just the next day's pitcher. Kansas City won't get any momentum from tonight -- it will just depends how the pitching goes."

Game notes
Ordonez triggered his $18 million option for 2010 with a fifth-inning groundout. The at-bat was his 1,080th plate appearance since the start of the 2008 season -- the number he needed to automatically activate the sixth year of his contract. ... Leyland took Brandon Inge, Ordonez and Cabrera out of the game after five innings with Detroit losing 8-1. ... The game drew 20,422 fans, the smallest crowd at Comerica Park since 20,212 saw the Tigers play the White Sox on April 15. ... Play was delayed briefly in the top of the seventh when a shirtless fan ran onto the field. He was tackled by security in left-center. ... Tigers closer Fernando Rodney served the second and final game of his suspension for throwing a ball into the stands at Tampa Bay on Sept. 4.