DETROIT -- OK, the Royals didn't beat that old Detroit bully Justin Verlander. It was Joaquin Benoit. But it was just as sweet.
Mike Moustakas' double and Chris Getz's two-out single snapped a tie in the ninth inning and gave the Royals a 3-2 victory over reliever Benoit and the Tigers on Wednesday at Comerica Park. The win gave the Royals a 4-3 record on their road trip, with two rainouts.
"It's a great win to end up the road trip," manager Ned Yost said. "It gets us in a good frame of mind going home. We can't make up for that [0-10] homestand. We can't. We have to put that in the past and go about our business [Thursday] night."
Yes, the Royals can feel pretty good going into a four-game series against the Yankees on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium after the way things finished in Detroit.
Benoit relieved Verlander for the ninth inning, and with one out, Moustakas doubled to right field.
"Benoit's got good stuff, so I was trying to get a base hit, keep the inning going, get something started for us, and I was able to turn on a fastball he threw," Moustakas said.
Moustakas advanced to third as Brayan Pena grounded out and came home as Getz, his shot cut off by Jhonny Peralta in the hole, easily beat the shortstop's throw.
"Getzy's at-bat, I mean holy moley, a guy gets an at-bat like that and drives me in -- that was the biggest at-bat of the game right there," Moustakas said.
Getz worked Benoit for eight pitches and fouled off six of the first seven. And Getz, a left-handed batter, was thinking about slapping the ball exactly where he hit it.
"Peralta plays up the middle, so I knew I just had to shoot the six-hole there," Getz said. "With two strikes, you can't get too cute on the location of where you want to hit it. But I knew if I could get a pitch I could handle and pepper one over there, I knew I'd be able to beat it out."
Moustakas, as he broke for the plate, saw the ball go past him on the line and had one hope.
"I was hoping it'd bounce, because I know Getzy's fast and got some speed, and that's a tough play for a shortstop in the hole. I was scoring, and I knew Getzy would beat it out," Moustakas said.
And he did.
That wiped out the disappointment of losing a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning, when Royals reliever Aaron Crow gave up a single to Austin Jackson and a two-run homer to Brennan Boesch.
"The ball just kind of came back towards the middle on Boesch and he ended up hitting a homer," Yost said. "But a great job to rebound the next inning and get [Jonathan] Broxton in the game."
Broxton worked a scoreless ninth to get the save and reliever Tim Collins got the victory.
Tigers ace Verlander, despite pitching eight strong innings, could not improve on his 14-2 career record against the Royals. Not having beaten Verlander since Sept. 9, 2009, the Royals must have figured an early breakthrough was desirable. They were successful, at least with one run, in the first inning when Jarrod Dyson led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Eric Hosmer's double to deep center field.
That snapped a 0-for-19 skid for Hosmer, who entered the game with a .180 average.
In the sixth, the Royals went ahead 2-0 after Alex Gordon led off with his second single. Billy Butler was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced as Hosmer bounced out. Gordon scored as Jeff Francoeur grounded out, but that's all Verlander allowed.
"Any time you can scrape up a couple of runs on Verlander, that's good," Gordon said.
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, the Royals' starter, breezed along only Miguel Cabrera reached base of the first 15 batters he faced. Cabrera was tapped on the left foot by a pitch.
The Tigers didn't get a hit until, after two outs in the fifth, Alex Avila drilled Sanchez's 66th pitch of the game into the right-center gap for a double. Then Sanchez created a traffic jam, walking the next two batters to load the bases, before he got Jackson to bounce out. At this point, Yost opted to take out Sanchez even though he had a one-hit shutout going.
"He ran out of gas in the fifth," Yost said. "He's been fighting this strep throat for the last three days and it was humid out there, but he did a real good job of keeping his pitch count down."
Sanchez, for his part, said he was feeling fine.
"I could throw 10 innings today," he said, chuckling.
Jose Mijares took over and threw a one-two-three sixth. Kelvin Herrera wasn't so efficient in the seventh when, after two outs, a walk and Brad Eldred's double put the tying runs in scoring position. However, Crow relieved Herrera and got pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago to roll out.
Verlander kept the Royals from adding an insurance run in his last inning, the eighth, with three straight strikeouts. Dyson led off with a single and, with Butler batting, he reached third on Verlander's wild pickoff throw. But Verlander caught Butler looking and then fanned Hosmer.
"Verlander is Verlander for a reason. He clamps down the vise in those situations and just becomes ultra-tough," Yost said.
On this day, though, Verlander wasn't quite tough enough and the Royals edged past him on their way to a win.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.