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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Despite being only two games above .500 and facing a 6.5-game deficit against first-place Detroit, the Kansas City Royals believe they have their rivals right where they want them. Judging by recent history, maybe they do. A five-run seventh inning keyed by Omar Infantes two-run single and an RBI double from Eric Hosmer enabled the Royals to avoid a demoralizing four-game sweep against the Tigers on Sunday. It also brought to mind the league-best 33-20 mark they logged last season after stumbling into the All-Star break on a five-game losing streak. "Were eight games better than we were at this time last year," manager Ned Yost said. "And were a second-half team. Weve always been a second-half team." Exactly why they seem to play better after the break, no one seems to know. "Im not sure," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "The seasons long, It wears on guys as they get older. Were young. And sometimes I think as guys get older ... I dont know." But he does know last years second-half surge makes this years challenge seem less daunting. "Were just better the second half. Its our track record and were starting to count on it." Four of the seventh-inning runs were charged to Justin Verlander (8-8), who started the inning with a two-hit shutout but loaded the bases on three straight singles. "Things were going well for us and we ran into the seventh," said Verlander, who lost for just the fifth time in 15 decisions in Kauffman Stadium. "A couple of balls fell in the right spots and Im out of the ballgame. They were able to find some spots." Since June 18 when K.C. beat the Tigers for their 10th straight win and went a season-best seven games over .500, the Royals have gone 9-14 while the Tigers went 17-6. Verlander gave up six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out three and walked one. Yordano Ventura (7-7) pitched 1 2/3 innings in his first career relief appearance and got the win. He allowed one hit and struck out three for the Royals, who beat the Tigers for only the first time in seven tries this year at home. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 26 opportunities. After Raul Ibanez loaded the bases in the seventh with a single that snapped a 0-for-25 skid, Alcides Escobar brought in a run with a slow-rolling infield single that second baseman Ian Kinsler failed to pick up cleanly. A second run then scored on Jarrod Dysons fielders choice. Ian Krol replaced Verlander and after intentionally walking pinch hitter Salvador Perez, gave up a two-run single to Omar Infante that made it 4-2. "I waited for that pitch and made good contact," Infante said. Hosmers double stretched his career-best hitting streak to 13 games. Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson opened the third with back-to-back singles and the Tigers took a 2-0 lead on Miguel Cabreras sacrifice fly and a two-out bloop single by J.D. Martinez, which fell in between shortstop Escobar and left fielder Ibanez as Jackson came around from first. NOTES: Jackson proved a perfect leadoff hitter in this series, starting all four games with a base hit, three singles and a double. ... Martinez made two nifty running catches in the right-field corner. Martinez was also 3 for 4. ... These were the only home games for the Royals during a 19-game stretch that began on June 30 and runs through July 23. ... The Royals, Dodgers, Yankees and Mariners are the only major league teams with losing records at home and winning marks on the road. ... All nine of Detroits hits were singles. Sergi Roberto Jersey . Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Philippe Coutinho Jersey . - Olympic champion Marielle Thompson accomplished her mission of defending her skicross World Cup title at Nakiska Ski Area on Saturday. http://www.fcbarcelonapro.com/Customized/.com) - James Harden had 32 points, including a tying layup late in regulation, and the Houston Rockets scored eight of their 13 points in overtime at the foul line to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 on Friday night. Lucas Digne Jersey . Malone will become an unrestricted free-agent and as per the collective bargaining agreement, the Lightning will be responsible for two-thirds of the remainder of his contract over twice the length of the rest of the deal. Luis Suarez Jersey . Others describe it as taking the parrot for a walk.Tony Pulis insists West Brom were denied a clear penalty by referee Mike Jones in their 2-1 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday Night Football. With the scores at 1-1 in the second half, Eliaquim Mangala went through the back of Sandro inside the area, but referee Jones waved play on.Jones had previously given a penalty in the first half to Manchester City after Stephane Sessegnon had brought down Aleksandar Kolarov, and Pulis thought that was an incorrect decision also. Samir Nasris goal gave City a 2-1 win over West Brom Pulis told Sky Sports: Ive just watched their penalty and I honestly dont think Sessegnon touches him.I think actually his foot lands in front of Kolarovs foot, but he has been clever, and Sess shouldnt really make a challenge there.And then second half, its a definite penalty, its really disappointing. Sergio Aguero had equalised for City in the first half Its not disappointing for us alone, I think people have got to realise that its also for the other clubs, chasing a Champions League spot, it affects them as well, and thats disappointing.West Brom have 40 points and look sure to stay in the Premier League for a seventh straight campaign, but Pulis was full of praise for his side for continuing to put in solid performances. Report: Man City 2-1 West Brom Samir Nasri scored a second-half winner on his return to the starting line-up The Baggies took the lead through Sessegnons first-hallf effort, before Sergio Aguero equalised from the spot and Samir Nasri bagged the winner.ddddddddddddObviously Im pleased with the performance. You get to 40 points and everybody thinks you switch off, and that its going to be a stroll into the end, but were just hoping we continue that form and intensity in the way we play. Manuel Pellegrini was pleased with Manchester Citys 2-1 over West Brom at the Etihad Stadium We created a lot of chances, Im disappointed with how many of our chances did not hit the target, thats been the story of our season, but we needed breaks. We did enough to get something out of the game.I think its important for the league that you put performances in, whether youre safe or not. I think youve got to, I wont have anything else other than our players having a go.We played through the pitch, not square and backwards, and we caused them problems. 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