KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and won his fourth straight decision, leading Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 9-4 Sunday and extending the Tigers’ winning streak to a season-high five games.
Billy Butler singled to right on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the sixth, leaving him with a .432 career average in 74 at-bats against the Detroit ace,
Verlander (4-1) allowed three runs, four hits and four walks in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Jarrod Dyson hit a two-run triple in the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nori Aoki, who walked his first three times up.
Verlander pitched no-hitters against Milwaukee in June 2007 and versus Toronto in May 2011. He improved to 17-5 against the Royals, the best winning percentage (.773) among active pitchers with 10 decisions or more.
Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila homered for the Tigers, who had 16 hits, and Torii Hunter had three hits and three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Rajai Davis and Andrew Romine also had three hits each. Davis raised his average to .337, scored three runs and stole two bases, raising his total to 11.
Detroit is 5-0 against the Royals this year and has won seven of eight overall. Kansas City, outscored 26-8 in the series, is 0-4 this month after going 8-20 last May.
Jason Vargas (2-1) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings – he’s allowed 12 runs and 21 hits over 11 1-3 innings in his last two starts.
NOTES: The Royals walked Victor Martinez intentionally twice Sunday and twice Saturday. … Kansas City optioned RHP Aaron Brooks to Triple-A Omaha, a day after he gave up six runs and seven hits in two innings in his major league debut. The Royals activated LHP Tim Collins from the DL. … RHP Max Scherzer, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, is to start Monday against Houston as the Tigers open a seven-game homestand. … The Royals begin a seven-game trip Monday at San Diego, where they are 0-6.
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