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.

READ MORE: Naperville Police Searching For 3 Men Wanted In Jewelry Store Robbery

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.

READ MORE: Man Arrested In Countless Social Media Threats Directed At CPS Schools, Days After Shootings Kill 2 Simeon Career Academy Students

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.

MORE NEWS: XS Tennis Village In Washington Park To Host Pro Tennis Stars For 'Chicago Fall Classic'

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)