MLB

Tigers falter against Royals 4-3

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)

Justin Verlander's season-long struggles continued against the Kansas City Royals.

Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer off Verlander and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Saturday night.

The Royals have won all five games Verlander has started against them this season.

Verlander, who was 15-2 against the Royals before this season, allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings, while walking one and striking out seven.

''Obviously they have a good team,'' Verlander said. ''We don't worry about them. We worry about what we're doing. We're worrying about them right now because we're playing them.

''When we play a different team we'll worry about that team. We aren't scoreboard watching.''

The Royals trail the Tigers by eight games in the AL Central.

Perez drove a two-out pitch over the left-field wall to put the Royals ahead 4-2.

''It was a 98 (mph) fastball down and in,'' Verlander said. ''You have to tip your cap to him. It was down and it was in. He got the barrel on it and got it out. He's a good hitter, give him credit.

''These are the best hitters in the world and occasionally they hit well-executed pitches. Sometimes they find a hole, they don't usually end up over the fence, but they still hit them.

''Looking back, I wouldn't throw a different pitch. That's where I wanted it. That's the pitch that stuck out in my mind.''

Verlander (12-11) is 0-3 with three no-decisions in six starts since an Aug. 6 victory at Cleveland.

The Tigers have dropped his past six starts and are 13-17 in his 30 starts this season.

''I liked that I was able to build on what I did last time,'' Verlander said. ''I didn't like the two-run homer to Perez. I want to build on the positives and I feel like I made progress. That doesn't mean I expect to throw a shutout next time.

''Guys hit good pitches. Perez hit a good pitch. Obviously I would have liked to have won. I would have liked to have thrown a shutout, but to be honest, the last two games I have made good progress.''

Wade Davis (7-10), the second of five Kansas City pitchers, picked up the victory on his 28th birthday.

Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his 39th save in 42 chances.

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who leads the American League with 133 RBIs, walked with the bases loaded in the fifth and singled home another run in the seventh.

''We just couldn't get one in the gap with guys on,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''Obviously, we had a couple of opportunities, but we couldn't get one in the gap. We just couldn't come up with a big hit.''

Royals left-hander Danny Duffy failed to pitch deep into the game in back-to-back starts. Duffy, who walked four in 3 2-3 innings in his previous start, walked five Tigers in 4 1-3 innings.

Duffy walked two in the first inning and that led to a run when Price Fielder's single scored Austin Jackson, who led off the game with a four-pitch walk.

Duffy allowed a Nick Castellanos infield single in the fifth, and with one out, walked Roman Santiago and Jackson on eight pitches to load the bases. Davis replaced Duffy and walked Cabrera to score Castellanos.

''We are a pretty good, patient team with a lot of veteran hitters,'' Tigers catcher Brayan Pena said. ''I felt like we did a good job of waiting.''

Emilio Bonifacio's bunt single in the third scored Alcides Escobar with the first Kansas City run.

Escobar's single in the fifth scored Jarrod Dyson, who walked and stole second.

When Pena threw out Bonifacio stealing second in the first inning, it ended the Tigers streak at 24 without catching a runner attempting to steal. Bonifacio had been perfect in his first 13 stolen attempts in 23 games since joining the Royals.

Notes: Royals 2B Chris Getz, who left in the third inning Tuesday with dizziness, has been cleared to play, passing tests to avoid the seven-day concussion DL. ... Royals C Salvador Perez, who was on the concussion list in early August and left the game Thursday woozy after being struck by a foul tip, opted not to change masks. Perez said he didn't feel comfortable with a new one that offered better protection. ... Tigers SS Jose Iglesias missed his second straight game with shin splints.

Tagged: Tigers, Royals, Justin Verlander, Emilio Bonifacio

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