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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tigers Claw From Dozen-Game Slide

KANSAS CITY -- The Detroit Tigers used four solo home runs and a tie-breaking single by Melvin Nieves in the eighth inning to halt a 12-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Nieves, Cecil Fielder, Curtis Pride and rookie Raul Casanova homered off Kevin Appier (4-5) for the Tigers, whose Wednesday win was their first since May 12.

Their record for the month of May is a dismal 4-21.

At 13-39 overall, Detroit is still on pace to match the futility mark of the comical 1962 New York Mets, who lost 120 games in their maiden season.

"This is a lot better feeling, I can deal with this feeling every night," Tigers manager Buddy Bell said of his rare taste of victory. "We had a little luck tonight, we haven't had that in a while."

Greg Gohr (3-6) allowed four runs -- two earned -- and five hits over seven innings for the win. Mike Walker worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth for his first major-league save.

Bip Roberts had three hits and drove in two runs for Kansas City.

Casanova hit his first major-league home run in the seventh to tie it, 4-4. Pride, who homered in the third, led off the eighth with a triple and Nieves delivered a single to left, scoring Pride with the winning run.

Braves 2, Cubs 0. John Smoltz maintained his status as early Cy Young Award favorite by picking up his major league-leading 11th victory with another masterful performance on the mound for the Atlanta Braves.

Smoltz scattered four hits in blanking the Chicago Cubs to raise his record to a remarkable 11-1.

The first pitcher in 11 years to win 10 games before June 1, Smoltz has won 11 consecutive starts since losing his season debut April 4 against San Francisco. He has allowed 16 earned runs over 82 innings for a 1.76 ERA in the 11 starts.

"I felt good. I had my pitches going and was hitting my spots," said Smoltz after his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career.

"That's what I'm looking for each time I go out there," added Smoltz, who matched a season-high with 13 strikeouts in his second complete game this year.

The only hits off Smoltz were a leadoff single by Brian McRae in the first inning, a double by Jose Gonzalez in the fourth, a double by Rey Sanchez in the fifth and a single by Mark Grace in the sixth.

"Today he really did have shutout stuff, he was dominating," said Braves manager Bobby Cox.

(For other results, see Scorecard.)

Ryan Klesko delivered a two-out, RBI single in the fourth inning to snap a scoreless tie and Smoltz helped his own cause by adding an insurance run with a RBI single in the fifth.

Chicago starter Steve Trachsel (3-4) pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits.