The Detroit Tigers failed to make up ground on the pacesetting Chicago White Sox in the hotly contested American League Central division on Thursday when they lost 2-1 to the Kansas City Royals.
The White Sox were beaten 5-3 by the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the day but the Tigers did not take advantage as the Royals rode strong pitching by Jeremy Guthrie to complete a three-game series sweep.
Right-hander Guthrie allowed just one run on 10 hits, not giving up a hit to the White Sox until the eighth inning, while Alex Gordon struck his 10th homer leading off the sixth to bolster the Kansas City offence.
The Tigers (69-61) remain three games behind the White Sox in their head-to-head race for the division title and the teams now head to Detroit to begin a crucial three-game series on Friday night. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Patrick Johnston)