Fister fans 9 in a row, Tigers stay in first place

DETROIT (AP)   Doug Fister set an AL record by striking out nine straight batters and the Detroit Tigers kept their lead in the Central, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday on Alex Avila’s grounder in the ninth inning.

The Tigers began the day with a one-game edge over the Chicago White Sox, who later hosted Tampa Bay.

Fister came within one strikeout of matching Tom Seaver’s major league record of 10 in a row. But the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead after seven innings, and Joaquin Benoit (5-3) allowed a solo homer by Billy Butler to tie it in the ninth.

The Royals made five errors, including one that loaded the bases in the ninth. Avila hit a grounder to first baseman Brayan Pena, who made a diving stop and touched the bag, but had no play at home.

Tim Collins (5-4) got the loss.