Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) tags out Detroit Tigers' Jose Iglesias (1) during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, June 18, 2016. Iglesias was out on a fielder's choice on the
Orlin Wagner
June 19, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kendrys Morales finally put some distance between himself and the Mendoza line on Saturday night.

Morales drove in five runs with four hits, Paulo Orlando also had four hits and the Kansas City Royals routed the Detroit Tigers 16-5.

The Royals' 21 hits and 16 runs were season highs. Whit Merrifield added three hits and four RBIs, and seven Royals had at least two hits. It got so bad, Tigers utility player Andrew Romine was summoned to pitch with one out in the eighth.

Morales has struggled to keep his average above .200 this season but tied a career high with the five RBIs and also got his 200th career double in the second. Morales reached base eight straight times - three walks and five hits - over a three-game span before grounding out to end the fifth.

Morales has reached base 10 times - seven hits and three walks - in his past 11 plate appearances and raised his average to .225.

''We need him,'' winning pitcher Edinson Volquez said. ''He was kind of struggling a little bit. Now he's starting to see the ball better. We're going to go be in a better position if he starts hitting better like he did tonight. He made a really big adjustment. Everybody saw what he did last year (22 home runs, 106 RBIs). He's starting to get comfortable at the plate.''

Volquez (7-6) gave up two runs in the first, then retired 14 in a row during one stretch. He tired in a three-run seventh, which included Justin Upton's two-run homer. Volquez allowed five runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.

The Royals have won 11 of their past 12 home games and are 24-8 at Kauffman Stadium, the best home record in the American League. Merrifield has at least one hit and one run in 12 straight home games.

Tigers left-hander Matt Boyd (0-2) was lifted after 3 2/3 innings, yielding seven runs on eight hits. In his past two starts, Boyd has given up 13 runs on 15 hits in eight innings. Boyd was optioned to Triple-A Toledo after the game.

''I just didn't do it tonight,'' Boyd said. ''It just wasn't my night to make a pitch.''

Orlando's four hits were a career high.

Miguel Cabrera had two hits and a sacrifice fly, while Upton drove in three runs.

VENTURA STARTS SUSPENSION

Royals RHP Yordano Ventura had his suspension trimmed from nine to eight games and began serving it Saturday. Ventura hit Manny Machado with a pitch June 7 at Baltimore. Machado charged the mound, and that led to a benches clearing melee. Ventura can be reinstated June 28. The Royals can manage with a four-man rotation until then with two off days next week.

TIGERS PROMOTE MCGEHEE

The Tigers purchased the contract of corner IF Casey McGehee from Triple-A Toledo, where he hit .323 in 66 games. McGehee, 33, hit 23 home runs with 104 RBIs in 2010 with the Brewers. He has also played for the Cubs, Pirates, Yankees, Marlins and Giants. Detroit optioned RHP Buck Farmer to the Mud Hens and designated for assignment OF Wynton Bernard.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Warwick Saupold (right groin strain) threw a 45-pitch bullpen. ''It's 100 percent,'' Saupold said. ''I'm looking forward to getting back out there.'' ... Cameron Maybin was back in center field after missing the two previous games with a sore left quad.

Royals: LF Alex Gordon (fractured right wrist) begins a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-3) starts the series finale. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two career starts at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals: RHP Chris Young (2-6), who has allowed 18 home runs in 45 1/3 innings, has a 4-0 career record against Detroit.

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