''They've got a very athletic lineup,'' Tigers catcher James McCann said. ''They've got speed and hitting. That's why they've got the record they've got. It's just the way they take advantage. It's what you saw last year and why they went to the World Series. They've got confidence.''
Duffy gave up his first run when Rajai Davis' single scored Jose Iglesias, who led off the inning with a triple. Duffy (2-0) struck out seven and walked two, while allowing seven hits before being replaced by Jason Frasor with no outs in the eighth.
Hosmer, who also homered Wednesday at Cleveland, drove an Alfredo Simon pitch to center with Mike Moustakas aboard in the Royals' three-run third. Moustakas doubled home Alex Gordon with the first run.
''We're a different team than the last time we faced them,'' Hosmer said. ''We said it would be a good test for our team to see where we're at. It's only one game, but these games are important.''
The two teams play the next three days at Kauffman Stadium with just standing-room-only seats available.
''I'm not worried about this club,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''We'll come ready to play.''
The Royals batted around in a five-run fifth, which included a Gordon two-run single and Kendrys Morales and Salvador Perez hitting successive RBI doubles. Christian Colon also drove in a run with a single.
Jarod Dyson had three singles as the Royals banged out 14 hits. Every Royal starter collected at least one hit.
Tigers right-hander Alfredo Simon (4-1) had allowed five runs and 22 hits in winning his first four starts, but the Royals knocked him out after 4 1-3 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits.
''I was behind in the count and I tried to throw strikes,'' Simon said. ''My split the first couple of innings worked pretty good and then I left some up and they took advantage. When you're behind in the count they know you're going to come in and they take advantage. They got two men on base and I got the ball over and up and they got a good swing on it.''
BEATING THE SHIFT
With the Tigers shifting to the right side with Moustakas at the plate in the first inning, he put down a bunt just inside the third base bag for an easy single. Moustakas has four straight multi-hit games, raising his average to .356.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera walked in his first two plate-appearances, bringing his total to 15.
Tigers: RHP Joe Nathan underwent season-ending elbow surgery. He registered just one save this year before going on the disabled list. . RHP Justin Verlander will have his third MRI early next week in Chicago to establish how much inflammation remains in his sore right triceps. He reported no discomfort after light toss Thursday.
Royals: SS Alcides Escobar was not in the lineup with concussion-like symptoms after being hit in the cheek by a Danny Salazar pitch Wednesday in Cleveland. Escobar will be tested again Friday. . RHP Greg Holland had his second bullpen session since going on the disabled list April 18 with a pectoral strain.
Tigers: Rookie LHP Kyle Lobstein, who has held left-handed hitters to .229 average, starts the second game of this series.
Royals: RHP Chris Young makes his first start after a 1-0 record and a 1.86 ERA in five relief appearances.