KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jason Kendall got a couple of opportunities with two out, and delivered each time.
"Jason was big for us," manager Ned Yost said. "He delivered three big two-out RBIs."
Chen (2-0) gave up two runs and four hits in five-plus innings to earn his first win as a starter since Aug. 6. Chen, subbing for injured righthander Gil Meche, made his second start after 10 relief appearances.
"I'm glad the last two times I've started I was able to pitch well and keep the team in the game," Chen said. "I'm feeling very comfortable with all my pitches. I think I'm mixing them well. The cutter is really helping me and changing speeds is also helping me out. I'm very excited about the way I'm throwing right now."
Chen walked Magglio Ordonez and gave up a single to Miguel Cabrera before being replaced by Kyle Farnsworth. Brennan Boesch, who leads all rookies with 25 RBIs, hit Farnsworth's first pitch over the wall in right to cut Kansas City's lead to 4-3.
"I don't care where I hit," Kendall said. "I take the same approach, see it, hit it and hope it falls in."
Max Scherzer (2-5), who struck out 14 over 5 2/3 innings in his previous start, gave up five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. He struck out three and walked two.
"Location killed me tonight," Scherzer said. "I made some mistakes when I got hit. I got to pitching over the middle of the plate and the Royals did a nice job of capitalizing."
The Royals scored three times in the second inning. Kendall and DeJesus each singled in a run, and Betancourt had a sacrifice fly.
DeJesus added a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 4-0.
"They kind of nickeled and dimed us a little bit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We hit a few balls real good, but nothing to show for it. We're a better hitting team than that."
Tigers 2B Carlos Guillen has a sore big left toe after fouling a pitch off his foot Thursday and was held out of the starting lineup. ... Royals LHP John Parrish (shoulder inflammation) threw batting practice. He likely will start a minor league rehab assignment early next week. ... Royals 2B Mike Aviles, who was dropped from second to seventh in the batting order, snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a second-inning single.