KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bobby Witt Jr. had his first career four-hit game along with three RBIs to help the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 Monday night for a doubleheader sweep.
Ryan O’Hearn greeted reliever Tyler Alexander with a two-run single as the Royals batted around for a 4-1 second-inning advantage.
MJ Melendez, who batted leadoff as a catcher — a franchise first — expanded the lead with a sacrifice fly the next inning.
Royals starter Daniel Lynch was greeted rudely in his return from the injured list, with Javier Baez drilling a first-pitch RBI double to score Robbie Grossman, who reached via error. Grossman collected singles in each of his next three at-bats.
Lynch struggled through four innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out three.
Angel Zerpa (1-0) earned his first major league win with two innings of scoreless relief. He was the second of four Kansas City relievers.
Miguel Cabrera’s fifth-inning RBI double cut the Royals lead to 5-3.
It was his 605th career double, tying him with Paul Molitor for 15th place on the career list, and his 1836th RBI, tying Cabrera with Ken Griffey, Jr., also for 15th place.
The Tigers have lost four straight.
Royals infielder Whit Merrifield didn’t play, ending his consecutive games streak at a franchise-record 553. It dated to June 24, 2018 and was the longest active string in the majors.
Merrifield exited Sunday’s game with right toe discomfort.
He was fitted with a walking boot and is expected to be placed on the injured list due to a bone bruise and ligament swelling.
Monday’s doubleheader was the Tigers’ sixth of the season, second most in the majors behind Cleveland’s seven.
The Royals swept a split doubleheader for the first time since taking both games against Tampa Bay July 7, 2015.
Royals LHP Foster Griffin was designated for assignment.
RHP Beau Brieske (2-6, 4.16 ERA) takes the mound for Detroit on Tuesday against LHP Kris Bubic (1-6, 6.84).