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.
Fister struck out Salvador Perez to end the top of the fourth, starting a streak that didn't end until Perez grounded out to the shortstop on a two-strike pitch in the seventh.
Fister finished with ...