Fresh faces help Tigers claw past Royals on Opening Day

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DETROIT — On a day of dandy debuts, Alex Gonzalez helped Brad Ausmus start his tenure as Tigers manager with a win.

Gonzalez lined an RBI single off Greg Holland in the bottom of the ninth, giving Detroit a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals Monday in Ausmus’s first game since replacing Jim Leyland. Victor Martinez homered for Detroit, and Justin Verlander was sharp aside from a three-run fourth that wasn’t all his fault.

‘‘There’s two things that could have spoiled Opening Day for me,’’ Ausmus said. ‘‘One, if we lost. And two, if the sun wasn’t out.”

Gonzalez was acquired by the Tigers in late March following an injury to shortstop Jose Iglesias.

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