DETROIT (AP) – Carlos Pena led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking home run, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Saturday night to snap their nine-game losing streak.

Pena had three hits, including a single that tied it at 3 in the fifth, and drove in two runs. Placido Polanco had four hits and a RBI for the Tigers, who avoided their first 10-game skid since September 2003.

Detroit lost an AL-record 119 games that season.

Chris Spurling (3-1) allowed a hit and struck out a batter in two innings. Fernando Rodney struck out two in the ninth and earned his eighth save in 12 chances.

Andrew Sisco (2-3) took the loss after allowing Pena’s 12th homer.

Detroit’s Mike Maroth went six-plus innings and gave up three runs and seven hits, walking one and striking out three.

Kansas City starter Jimmy Gobble gave up two runs on seven hits in 3 2-3 innings, walking two and striking out two.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second on Polanco’s RBI single. He took second on the throw to the plate and scored on Brandon Inge’s double.

Kansas City went ahead with three in the fourth on Mike Sweeney’s RBI double, Emil Brown’s run-scoring single and Angel Berroa’s RBI single.

Detroit failed to score in the first despite loading the bases with none out. Polanco led off with a double, Inge walked and Ivan Rodriguez singled. But Magglio Ordonez struck out, Chris Shelton lined out to second and Craig Monroe lined out to center.

Notes: Royals RHP D.J. Carrasco has an inflamed right shoulder and will be inactive for about seven days. He had been sent home to Kansas City on Friday. … The Tigers’ Dmitri Young was scratched with leg soreness.

AP-ES-09-10-05 2155EDT

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