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Alex Avila homers twice as Tigers down Royals


Alex Avila homered twice, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning that lifted the Detroit Tigers over the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Sunday.


Detroit's Max Scherzer struck out 12 in seven innings, but he was denied his 20th victory when Kansas City tied it off Drew Smyly (6-0) in the eighth.


Avila answered in the bottom half with a homer to right-center.


Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 20 chances for the AL Central-leading Tigers.


Jeremy Guthrie (14-11) pitched all eight innings for the Royals, who began the day 3 1-2 games back in the AL wild-card race.


Avila's first homer was a two-run shot in the second.


Alex Gordon hit a solo homer for Kansas City in the fourth.

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