Brendan White (2-2) recorded two outs in the seventh inning for the win. Jason Foley pitched a scoreless eighth before Alex Lange retired the Royals in order in the ninth for his 15th save
Akil Baddoo had two hits for Detroit, including a leadoff double off Taylor Clarke (1-4) in the decisive eighth inning. After Clarke retired the next two batters, Riley Greene was hit by a pitch and Spencer Torkelson walked to load the bases.
Detroit then snapped a 20-inning scoreless streak when Jose Cuas issued a four-pitch walk to Kerry Carpenter. Vierling followed with his two-run double to right field.
Freddy Fermin had three hits and an RBI for Kansas City, which lost the opener of a four-game series despite outhitting the Tigers 6-5
Baddoo added a game-saving catch in the left field corner with a runner at second base in the bottom of the eighth inning for Detroit, which has won three of four games since the All-Star break.
Kansas City broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth inning against Tigers starter Matt Manning. MJ Melendez singled with one out, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Fermin's single. Nick Pratto followed with an RBI single to left field
Manning was lifted after giving up two unearned runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three with no walks.
Kansas City's Jordan Lyles turned in a quality start with three hits allowed over six innings. He walked one and struck out four. Carlos Hernandez followed with a scoreless seventh inning before Detroit rallied in the eighth.
Torkelson went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his eight-game hitting streak.
Kansas City played without All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, who is listed as day-to-day with a left hamstring strain.
--Field Level Media