DETROIT (AP) — Mikie Mahtook hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Saturday night in Victor Martinez's final major league game.
With the score tied at 3, Niko Goodrum led off the eighth with his third hit of the game, a single off Jason Hammel (3-14). Mahtook then lined Hammel's 1-0 slider over the left-field fence for his ninth homer.
The 39-year-old Martinez, who made his debut with Cleveland in 2002, hit an infield single in his first at-bat and was immediately removed for pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez. Fellow Venezuelans Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar came out of the Royals' dugout to embrace the five-time All-Star as he walked off the field to a standing ovation.
Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Joe Jimenez (5-4) allowed the Royals to tie it in the eighth but earned the win.
Shane Greene allowed a solo homer to Perez before finishing the ninth for his 31st save in 37 opportunities.
Jake Junis entered the game with a 4-0 record and 1.76 ERA against the Tigers this season. He gave up three runs on eight hits, a walk and three wild pitches in six innings.
Whit Merrifield drove the game's first pitch to right-center. JaCoby Jones made a diving try but the ball popped out of his glove when he hit the ground, giving Merrifield a triple. Adalberto Mondesi followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Goodrum's RBI single, and he added an RBI double in the third.
Alex Gordon tied it at 2-2 with a fourth-inning homer. Two wild pitches by Junis allowed Jones to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning.
Brett Phillips singled off Jimenez with one out in the eighth and scored the tying run on Merrifield's double down the left-field line.
Tigers: Infielders Jeimer Candelario (back) and Niko Goodrum (quadriceps) returned to the lineup. Candelario played third, while Goodrum started at second before moving to first after Martinez's departure.
Pete Kozma tripled in the eighth inning — his first three-base hit in the majors since Sept. 21, 2012. Kozma's first triple as a Tiger put him one ahead of Martinez, who finished his Detroit career with zero triples in 969 games.
MARTINEZ'S FINAL DAY
Martinez was honored in a pregame ceremony that included a video tribute and gifts for his family presented by the team's other Latin American players, including Miguel Cabrera, who had been away from the team while rehabbing his biceps injury.
There were also presents from Martinez's teammates and the Tigers organization. In honor of his future career as a cattle rancher, the gifts included handmade cowboy boots and a saddle emblazoned with the Tigers logo.
After taking time to compose himself, Martinez thanked the fans in a brief speech. He played first base for the first time since June 1, 2016, ending a 342-game streak of only serving as a hitter.
The teams finish their four-game series Sunday afternoon in Detroit's final home game of the season. Brad Keller (8-6, 3.17 ERA) will start for the Royals against Daniel Norris (0-5, 5.71).
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