DETROIT -

Omar Infante hit a solo homer to back the strong pitching of Jeremy Guthrie and the Kansas City Royals stretched their winning streak to 10 games -- their longest in 20 years -- with a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.

The Royals (39-32) moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers (36-32) for first place in the American League Central Division. The last time the Royals won 10 or more consecutive games was 1994, when they piled up 14 straight victories from July 23-Aug. 5.

Right fielder J.D. Martinez's seventh-inning homer was the only run allowed by Guthrie (4-6), who gave up four hits and tied his season high with nine strikeouts. Set-up reliever Wade Davis struck out the side in the eighth and Greg Holland notched his 21st save.

Tigers left-handed starter Drew Smyly (3-6) took the loss despite allowing two runs on seven hits in seven-plus innings, walking none and striking out six.

Kansas City caught a break while scoring a run in the first inning. First baseman Eric Hosmer singled with one out and stole second. With two down, Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez was perfectly positioned to field left fielder Alex Gordon's bouncer up the middle but the ball caromed off the second-base bag. That allowed Hosmer to score as Gordon notched his team-high 39th RBI.

Infante's fourth home run of the season with two out in the fifth made it 2-0. That gave Infante, a former Tiger and Kansas City's second baseman, eight RBIs in a four-game series that concludes on Thursday.

Guthrie recorded at least one strikeout in each of the first six innings. Detroit finally broke through with one out in the seventh against Guthrie when Martinez hit his fifth home run down the left field line.

NOTES: Royals RF Nori Aoki was not in the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game with a left groin injury. Manager Ned Yost said Aoki could return to the lineup as early as Thursday. "He's better," Yost said. "It's something we don't want to push but I imagine he'll be back in there (Thursday)." ...Tigers RF Torii Hunter did not start for the second straight game. He left Monday's opener against Kansas City with a right hamstring cramp. ... Detroit purchased the contract of RHP Chad Smith from Triple-A Toledo and designated RHP Evan Reed for assignment. Smith had a 4-2 record with a 1.64 ERA in 15 appearances with the Mud Hens after being promoted from Double A Erie earlier in the season. Reed was 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA in 27 games. ... The Royals now have 39 home runs, the only American League team with fewer than 50, but they are second in the league with 137 doubles.